Afghan Presidential Polls Enter Critical Stage Amidst Fragile Peace Talks

Published September 1st, 2019 - 09:01 GMT
Afghan soldiers gather at a street in Kunduz on August 31, 2019. Afghan security forces "repelled" a coordinated Taliban assault on the northern city of Kunduz on August 31. (AFP/ File Photo)
Afghan soldiers gather at a street in Kunduz on August 31, 2019. Afghan security forces "repelled" a coordinated Taliban assault on the northern city of Kunduz on August 31. (AFP/ File Photo)
Highlights
With under 30 days remaining, sensitive election materials begin transfer from capital to provinces under tight security.

Landmark presidential polls in Afghanistan entered a critical stage on Friday as election materials are being transferred from the capital Kabul to the provinces amid stark ambiguities.

The materials are to be supplied via air and ground transportation under tight security, the country's Independent Election Commission said in a statement.

IEC spokesman Zabeh Sadat told Anadolu Agency that biometric voter verification devices would be dispatched to all 34 provinces, adding that all technical issues associated with these devices had been fixed.

"The transfer of all 'sensitive' election material to provinces from Kabul began today with the first consignments destined for Farah, Badghes and Herat provinces in the west," he said.

The IEC recently acquired 17,000 additional biometric voter verification devices in addition to 22,000 from last year’s parliamentary elections, making the total available devices 39,000.

This comes amid uncertainties surrounding the landmark presidential elections in the war-ravaged country amid a rejuvenated yet fragile peace process with the Taliban.

{"preview_thumbnail":"https://cdn.flowplayer.com/6684a05f-6468-4ecd-87d5-a748773282a3/i/v-i-8…","video_id":"8920a085-1e78-4294-aae3-6a2b8c684fb3","player_id":"8ca46225-42a2-4245-9c20-7850ae937431","provider":"flowplayer","video":"Hong Kong Couple Allegedly Beaten by Police in Subway Goes Viral (Video)"}

The interior ministry on Wednesday announced it would deploy nearly 100,000 armed forces for the security of the upcoming presidential polls.

The Taliban have warned people against taking part in the ballot, with a number of candidates, including incumbent Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, saying they could withdraw for the sake of peace process. 

Last week, speculations surrounding the establishment of an interim government in Kabul overshadowed the ongoing ninth round of talks between the U.S. and Taliban in Doha. Both the U.S. and Taliban rebuked discussing about an interim government weeks ahead of the key presidential elections slated for Sept. 28.

A total of 16 candidates are set to compete in the elections. Among them include the current President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, his power-sharing CEO, Abdullah Abdullah and seasoned former Mujahedeen leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

You may also like