Afghan election body to use old voting cards for polls

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Kabul (afviews): The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) has decided to use old voter registration card in the future election. The commission also reports about on distribution of some two to three million new voter cards.

Officials of the IEC say that the chairman of the commission has opposed the use of old cards in the upcoming election and he was not present during the decision making process either.

However, the head of the Secretariat Office of the IEC Ziaulhaq Amerkhel says the decision on using the previous cards was made with overwhelming majority of votes of the members of the IEC.

The IEC says that the use of old voting cards in upcoming presidential polls will not be effective in ensuring the transparency of the upcoming elections. According to IEC some two to three and half million new voting cards will be issued for those who does not have voting cards adding that electronic ID cards will also be used in the elections.

Election_polling_AfghanPrior to this, the IEC head in connection to the cabinet decision for using the old voting cards had said that having fair and transparent elections is not possible with the current voting cards.

Fazl Ahmad Manawi, IEC head, earlier said, “Our primary plan is in fact to guarantee fair and transparent elections. Our "B" plan contains activities which can help us achieve our main plans. But our future plans naturally will be weakened compare to what we had planned in the past.”

It is said that during the previous election some 17m voting cards were issued and around two to three million fake voting cards were also identified. Prior to this, concern existed that the IEC does not have the capability to differentiate between the original and fake voting cards. Now with the increase in voting cards, won't the rate of fraud increase?

Ziaolhaq Amerkhel, head of the IEC secretariat, said that the voting cards are disposable and generally the voting cards has reached to 17 million in four or more than four phases, thus this will not have any effect on the transparency of the election and the IEC has sufficient reasons to back their claim and this information will technically be shared with the media in near future to enlighten the minds of the common man and public.

The IEC says that these new plans cost around 15 to 20 million dollars and efforts will be made to prevent the use of fake voting cards and multi voting and issue that has worried political circle and civil society.

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