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Presidential Runners Set to Receive Vehicles

Presidential Runners Set to Receive Vehicles

KABUL – Three armored and as many Hilux vehicles will be placed at the disposal of each presidential runner on Saturday, the Election Security Commission head said on Friday. The 11 candidates for the April 5 presidential vote have so far nominated 170 security guards, who have been be absorbed into police ranks.

Gen. Mohammed Salem Ihsas told Pajhwok Afghan News the vehicles were ready for delivery to the presidential hopefuls — a process that begins tomorrow. Before the launch of the election campaign on Sunday, all guards referred to the Ministry of the Interior would undergo biometric tests, he added. All guards will be equipped to ensure candidates’ security during the campaign period.

In response to a query, Gen. Ihsas said: “Equipping the security guards and providing fuel for the vehicles is a job related to the Ministry of the Interior (MoI).”  Under a decision of the National Security Council, the MoI has to provide each presidential candidate with three armoured and as many ordinary vehicles, as well as 35 police personnel.

Last week, MoI spokesman GhulamSiddiqueSiddiqui asked the 11 contenders to receive their vehicles and introduce their guards to the ministry. Presidential and provincial council elections are scheduled to be held on April 5 this year, with the two-month campaign for presidential polls starting on February 2.

In order to ensure tight security, Siddiqui asked the presidential hopefuls to inform the relevant agencies two days prior to campaign programmes. Ihsas insisted security forces were ready to make sure that each phase of the election process passed off peacefully. There should be no cause for concern with regard to security, he said. “God willing, all stages of the elections will pass off in a secure environment,” he believed, urging candidates to coordinate their activities with the authorities concerned.(PAN)

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