Code 127319
PublishDate: Saturday, August 25, 2018 10:47

Security Forces Remove Protestors Tents From Kabul IEC Offices

The tents had been set up outside the IEC after supporters of disqualified parliamentary election candidates embarked on a demonstration about two weeks ago. 
According to Bismillah Taban, PD 9 police chief, the  operation started at 3am on Saturday and ended at about 4am.
He said there had been no problems as protesters had not been there at the time. 
In the past two weeks, supporters of disqualified candidates have held sit in protests outside a number of IEC offices around the country in protest against the disqualification of some candidates.
In addition however, political parties have warned they will embark on civil action from Saturday over what they claim is government’s failure to ensure transparency in the upcoming elections. 
In a statement released by the political parties they said that their planned protests in Kabul and other provinces will be include closing of electoral commissions offices.
The government does not want to hold transparent elections, the statement said.
The political parties stated government needs to accept their demands regarding elections. 
Changing the electoral system, a biometric voter process on election day and effective monitoring of the voting process to prevent fraud are the main demands of political parties.
Following the announcement of the names of disqualified candidates by the IEC, supporters of a number of candidates closed election commission offices in Kabul and 10 other provinces at least two weeks ago.
A number of disqualified candidates on Friday warned that they will continue their protests unless the election commission accepts their demands.
“They (IEC) has oppressed and taken out names of candidates from the list and wants to start a ‘bloodshed’. We are ready for such a ‘bloodshed’,” said Qais Hassan, a disqualified candidate.
The election commission says that because of the closure of its offices, they have failed to prepare the list of eligible voters for related polling stations and also have been unable to start recruitment of employees for Election Day that was expected to start last Saturday.
This comes after the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Friday said government has assured them that their offices which are closed by supporters of a number of disqualified candidates in a number of provinces will be reopened in the next week.
Discussions are ongoing between government and supporters of a number of disqualified candidates to encourage them to end their protests, said Hafizullah Hashemi, an IEC commissioner. 
He said the candidates list is final and that no changes will be made. 
The commission in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will print 10 million ballot papers in the United Arab Emirates, he said.


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