KABUL: As the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the parliamentary and district council elections would be held on 20th October this year, the issue of low turnout in voter registration process and electoral constituencies is the important question that remains unresolved.
Credible sources in Presidential Palace divulged to Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani will meet representatives of political parties Monday’s evening to discuss with them whether the parliamentary election should be held on old electoral constituencies system or it should be changed.
Afghanistan used the Single Non-Transferable Voting (SNTV) system with province-wide, multi-member constituencies in the parliamentary elections in both 2005 and 2010. However, they system was widely criticized by political parties.
The sources said the peoples’ demand of holding elections on constituency basis in some provinces was justified because they might not able to elect a representative from their respective area if the old electoral system remains unchanged.
According to the source, the government intended to conduct elections on its scheduled time but some of the problems still remain unresolved.
“There exist numerous resolved questions about the nature of the electoral system. These questions become more serious with passing time, “said Qazi Muhammad Hasan Haqyar, a Kabul based political analyst.
He told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that IEC has not yet clarified if the elections would be held old province-wide constituency system or to divide a province into several constituencies.
He continued that security, low turnout in voter registration and some other issues were the questions needed to be answered.
Haqyar, however, said President’s meetings on electoral system is meaningless at this time because more than one million people have registered themselves for province wide constituency.
Abdul Shakoor Dadras, a legal expert, believes that the low turnout would be question mark on the legality and completeness of the elections.
He feared that the elections might be delayed on the same pretext.
“There are four ways to elections: The government should pave way for elections on its scheduled time on the old mechanism of province-wide constituency; divide each province in several constituencies; give share to [political] parties in parliament or hold presidential and parliamentary elections jointly,” he stated.
He said it was the right of the people to ask from IEC that when and on what mechanism the polls would be held.
He disclosed that the government might announce another plan for the elections.
The public awareness campaign launched by the IEC does carry the date of election but only urges the people to registrar as voter the coming key and historical day.
The IEC, however, says the elections would be held on its scheduled time.
The IEC also announced the other day that they have started preparations for presidential election in 2019.
Around 1.2 million people have registered their names as voters for the upcoming parliamentary election at a time when there are only five days to the closing of the process.