Kandahar polling stations transferred to public places

Monitoring Desk

KANDAHAR CITY: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has transferred all polling stations to schools and mosques in southern Kandahar province, governor’s office said on Sunday.

The decision came on Sunday at a southern zone-level meeting, which was attended by IEC representatives, as well as civilian and military officials, a statement from the governor’s house said.

Governor of Kandahar, Zabul, Daikundi and Uruzgan participated in the meeting, which was also attended by the provincial police chief, Gen Abdul Raziq.

Commanders of the 404th Maiwand Zone, 205th Army Corps, Public Order Police, NATO and IEC officials were also in attendance, according to the statement.

Kandahar IEC head Dr. Mohammad Hashim Durrani said they had shifted polling stations to mosques and schools from private places to ensure transparent voting.

Durrani explained ballots could be cast in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections on the basis of old national identity cards.

There are 225 polling centres in Kandahar and 80 of them are located in the city — 40 for men and as many for women.

The registration process for the elections would begin on April 14, Durrani said, seeking full cooperation from governors, religious scholars and teachers to ensure transparent polls. Speaking at the meeting, Governor Weesa said the IEC had set up fewer polling centres in Kandahar — an issue shared with President Ashraf Ghani.

He claimed Kandahar was a stable province, where all the people, including district residents, would cast their votes in the elections.

Weesa assured the people the Afghan forces were fully prepared to make sure the elections were conducted in a secure environment and a transparent manner.

Governors of Zabul, Uruzgan and Kunduz also addressed the meeting and spoke about their preparations for elections.

The 404th Maiwand Military Corps commander, the police chief and Brig. Gen Lathrop of Resolute Support Mission said elaborate security measures had been taken for the smooth conduct of the elections.

The commission has announced October 22 as a fresh date for holding the long due elections to the Wolesi Jirga and district councils.