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Closure of registration centers’ undermines election legitimacy

AT-KABUL: Members of parliament say that most of people in the remote rural areas are deprived from the third round of the voter registration process because about 50 per cent of the voter registration centers in those areas are closed and villagers do not have national ID cards.

The independent election commission also admits that “some of centers” in the remote area are closed, saying that they are temporarily closed due to insecurity, and would be reopened soon after security gets better.

The third round of the voter registration process is covering remote rural areas, but most of the registration centers are closed and many people in the villages do not have national IDs to vote for the October legislative election.

Lawmakers said Tuesday that the centers in the remote areas remained closed despite promises from government and election commission to keep the centers open. They said that half of the local people would not attend the election because of the center closure.

They said that the closure of centers undermines not only the nationwide principle of the election, but also overshadows its legitimacy because most of locals cannot attend the election.

1,357 out of 2,917 voter registration centers are closed in the remote areas, according to reports that say 1,560 centers are open.

The election commission said that there is no registration center in 12 districts, while some centers are closed in other districts due to security problems.

Officials in the commission said that it was impossible to open centers in the unsafe areas, but those centers that were closed due to lack of electoral materials, would be soon reopened.

More than 6,100 people have so far registered to occupy seats in the parliament and district council. 2,454 people have registered for the parliament and 3,700 others for the district councils.