KABUL: A number of Wolesi Jirga or lower house members on Wednesday asked the government address concerns of protestors who have closed the Independent Election Commission (IEC) branch in southern Ghazni province.
Meanwhile, IEC officials said the government would resolve the issue in the next two days.
A number of residents of Ghazni province have erected a protest tent in front of the IEC office in Ghazni City and have not been allow election officials to work over the past one and half a months.
The protestors say most of residents of districts of Ghazni province had been unable to cast their votes in the past elections due to security problems.
They demanded shrinking constituencies so people of all areas could elect their own representatives in the parliament.
No one have so far registered as candidate for the upcoming Wolesi Jirga and district council elections in Ghazni due to the closure of the IEC office as the registration deadline for candidates registration ended on Tuesday.
According to the IEC, more than 50,000 people have been registered as voters in the capital of Ghazni but the voter registration process is yet to be started in districts as essential materials have not been transferred there.
The Wolesi Jirga’s Wednesday session discussed the problem with the IEC office in Ghazni.
Abdul Qayum Sajjadi, a lawmaker form Ghazni province, said “unconstitutional approach to elections and holding people hostage would create serious challenges.”
Without naming anyone, he said some figures inside the government were trying to deprive Ghazni people form participating in elections. The government instead of paving the ground for elections and encouraging people has adopted a policy of depriving people of voting, he said.
He said a delegation that arrived from Kabul in Ghazni few days ago had failed to resolve the problem and it referred the issue to the government.
Ali Akbar Qasemi, another lawmaker said: “Some people in the name of their tribe have closed the IEC office in order to achieve their illegal demands.”
Abdullah Mohammadi, a lawmaker from Samangan province, said that elections would not be nationwide until held in Ghazni province.
Speaker Abdur Raouf Ibrahimi termed the closure of IEC office in Ghazni as against the law and said the move showed the commission’s and the government’s weakness.
He said depriving one or more provinces of elections had no room in the Constitution. He asked the IEC and the government to resolve the issue or they would be responsible for any consequences.
Meanwhile, IEC chief Abudl Baday Sayyad told a press conference here that the government had promised to resolve the Ghazni election issue over the next two days. “If the government fails to resolve the issue then the IEC will take action,” he concluded.