At a rally held in Kabul on Thursday, members of an Afghan pro-democracy group dedicated to promoting the 2014 presidential elections called on their fellow countrymen to take part in the voting process to shape their future and defy the militants trying to destabilize the country.
The Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) on Thursday assured voters would arrive at polls on Saturday for the country's presidential and provincial council elections amidst a peaceful environment with fair oversight to ensure they are credible and transparent.
Minister Mohammad Omar Daudzai spoke at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday and called on Afghans to get out and vote in Saturday's elections in order to send a strong message to militants who want to destabilize the country and keep people from excercising their democratic rights.
With preparations for the presidential and provincial council elections finishing up, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Thursday announced that polls around the country will be open on Saturday from 7:00AM to 4:00PM, but that closing time could be pushed back if need be.
According to IEC officials, Thursday saw the final batch of election materials distributed to Kabul districts under secure escort. With that, all voting centers are believed to have been supplied with the designated 600 ballots and the equipment necessary to conduct the voting process.
Kabul, 2 abr (EFE).- Los recientes ataques en Kabul, las amenazas de violencia por parte de los talibanes y el miedo al fraude amenazan las elecciones de Afganistán el próximo sábado y ponen en duda la participación del electorado.
La seguridad en la capital afgana es visible con numerosos policías y soldados, además de controles en los que se chequean los vehículos en busca de bombas y las carreteras que llevan a edificios del Gobierno cerradas a los civiles.
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations top diplomat in Afghanistan on Wednesday said there would be no international meddling in Saturday’s presidential and provincial elections.
“There is no foreign interference in your elections. These elections are the elections of the Afghan people; Afghan political forces for Afghan candidates,” he said.
UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Jan Kubiš told reporters in Kabul Afghans should use the opportunity to shape the future of their country through peaceful democratic means.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to preventing any interference that could compromise the integrity of Saturday's presidential and provincial council elections.
“No institution, individual, group or government will be allowed to interfere in the elections,” IEC Chairman Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani said. "The Election Commission will honor its promise to the nation and ensure impartiality in the elections."
On Wednesday UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Jan Kubiš, expressed satisfaction over the preparations undertaken by the independent election commission of Afghanistan (IEC) with regard to the presidential elections.
Kubiš urged the neighboring countries that attended the UNSC meeting that have made commitments to continue backing Afghanistan in restoring stability and security.
He expressed that a transparent and credible election will pave the way for a peaceful transition of political power in the country.
Wednesday marks the end of the 2014 Afghan presidential and provincial council campaigns. Presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul presented his last campaign to the residents of Kabul.
Rassoul promised to fight corruption and compulsion elaborating that winning will not be possible through either.
“I would like to declare to those who use power and wealth to coerce their way thru things, that Afghanistan has changed," Rassoul said. "Today’s Afghanistan is not the extreme conservative Afghanistan, but rather a moderate Afghanistan.”
Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah spoke at his last campaign before the election in Kohdaman district of Kabul on Wednesday, promising to implement equality under law if elected.
He said the fair and consistent implementation of rule of law in Afghanistan would resolve many of its current challenges.
“If elected as president, we hope to fulfill the aspirations of the citizens by implementing the law equally so Afghanistan can get away of its ongoing problems,” Abdullah said.
KABUL (Pajhwok): The electoral watchdog on Tuesday fined presidential runners Gul Agha Sherzai and Zalmai Rassoul for violating the Election Law during their campaigns.
At an emergency meeting, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) decided 10 complaints, including three against Zalmai Rassoul.
IECC Chairman Abdul Sattar Sadat said the objections against Rassoul pertained to the use of official resources in his electioneering.
KABUL (Pajhwok): Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is leading the race for the presidency, followed by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, a new pre-election survey revealed on Sunday.
Conducted by Assess Transform and Reach (ATR), the survey said about 26.9 percent of respondents voted for Ahmadzai, while 24.7 percent supported Abdullah.
Ex-foreign minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul received 7.5 percent of votes those polled. More than 3220 people were asked about their perceptions.
Violence against women in Herat is a major issue that was addressed by presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul during his campaign rally in Herat on Sunday.
Rassoul said in his speech that if elected president he will focus on fighting the issue.
“I am aware of the kidnappings, bullying and security issues of Herat,” Rassoul said. “If elected, I assure you, I will fight these phenomenons.”
That majority that gathered at Rassoul’s campaigning in Herat were females.
A number of Kabul residents waited hours to register to vote in Saturday’s election, but the wait did not hinder the spirits of those in line because they say voting in this year’s election is a way of fighting against fundamentalists.
For the past few days people have been waiting in line long before registration centers open at 8 a.m. and stay till the centers close for the day.
Speaking to supporters in Herat on Sunday, presidential candidate Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai promised to turn the western province into the industrial and commercial trade capital of Afghanistan if elected.
The development plans Ashraf Ghani shared with his supporters on Sunday included the construction of a trade port along the border with Turkmenistan, the completion of the Kamal Khan Dam project in Nimroz, the Salma and Pashdan Dam in Herat and the Badghis Highway. He also promised to turn the Herat International Airport into a hub for international trade and transit.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday announced the final list of polling centers expected to be open on Election Day. Although the number of centers to be closed is higher than previous estimates, officials suggested this precaution would help minimize the chances of electoral fraud.
Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah stood in front of a crowd in Kandahar on Sunday addressing the people that the militant attack on the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) will not stop people from voting.
“The IEC building was attacked yesterday; I am telling Afghanistan’s enemies that Afghans will not change their decision in taking part in elections,” Abdullah said. “Threats and attacks will not change the people’s decision.”
IEC Secretariat chief Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail on Saturday said a number of tasks remained to be completed with just six days before Election Day. He said the tasks included reviewing election employee placements, distributing election materials to polling sites and much more.
Next Saturday's presidential and provincial council elections have been the subject of much attention around the world, marking Afghanistan's first democratic transition of presidential power in history. Ahead of the vote, however, concerns have been raised about security threats and fraud.
Head of the Afghan Civil Society Forum (ACSF) Aziz Rafiye said on Saturday that details regarding the distribution of election materials and installation of equipment in polling centers around the country have not yet been provided by election officials. He warned that if security measures are not properly reported, the chances of election materials being stolen and equipment being tampered with would be high.
Afghan top security officials were summoned to the lower house of parliament on Saturday to answer questions related to security for the upcoming elections that is scheduled to be held on Saturday April 5, 2014.
The Minister of Defense Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi while talking to members of parliament said a number of particular groups abroad are attempting to disrupt the presidential and provincial council’s elections.