Slow delivery of election materials undermines Afghan presidential polls
As the country is going to hold
the 2019 presidential election—set to be held on September 28—many observers
express concern over slow delivery of sensitive electoral materials to election
sites across the country. They say slow provision of sensitive election
materials undermines the country’s election.
With three days remaining to
the Election Day, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has just delivered
materials to 160 districts while 227 districts are still waiting to receive
Zabihullah Sadat, a
spokesperson for the IEC, however, assures that the delivery process of the
electoral materials to polling centers will be completed by Friday, September
As per the presidential election
timeline, the IEC should have completed the delivery process by September 23.
Slow delivery of sensitive materials
has raised concerns among election watchdogs and observers. A number of
observers say it is better to postpone the election if the IEC is incapable to deliver
Habibullah Shinwari, a program manager at the Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA), expresses concern over slow delivery of election materials. He says he doubts whether the IEC has delivered electoral materials to 160 districts.
Yousuf Rasheed, executive director
of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) also expresses
concern over slow delivery of sensitive materials, saying that so far materials
have not been supplied to many parts of the country. Rasheed, however, believes
that postponing the polls is not a good option. “The election commission must
do its best to deliver on the promise it made,” he asserted.
Security threats and loss of
the sensitive materials, biometric devices—while being transferred to polling
centers—are major challenge that undermines the polls. Based on reports sent to
electoral observers, the sensitive electoral materials have been damaged at
least in three districts of Ghazni, in Maidan Wardak, and Kunar provinces.
According to ETWA, biometric
devices of 14 ballot boxes have been damaged in security incidents in Ghazni.
Zabihullah Sadat, The IEC
spokesperson, nonetheless, assures that sensitive electoral materials will be
supplied safely to election sites. He underlines the IEC will supply new materials
just in case any damage is done to materials.