Last Update 20:49
Friday, 22 March 2019

Afghanistan extends deadline for voter registration amid violence

AFP , Friday 11 May 2018
Afghan security forces arrive at the site of an attack and gun fire in Kabul, Afghanistan May 9, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 2961
Views: 2961

A deadline for Afghans to register to vote in the October 20 legislative elections has been extended, officials said Friday, as figures show hundreds of civilians have already been killed or wounded in poll-related violence.

Enrolment for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections began on April 14 and was originally scheduled to finish in mid-June.

By Thursday, just over 1.5 million adults had signed up to vote, a spokesman for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) told AFP -- a fraction of the 14 million it had hoped to register during the two-month process.

"The election commission of Afghanistan has extended the voting registration process for one month," the IEC said in a statement, without explaining the reason for the decision.

There are fears that a low turnout could erode the credibility of the elections, which are seen as a test run for next year's presidential poll.

The vote was supposed to be held in 2015 but has been repeatedly pushed back due to security fears and logistical issues within the fragile unity government.

The decision came as UN figures released Thursday showed 86 civilians had been killed and 185 wounded in 23 election-related security incidents since registration began.

Most of the casualties happened on April 22 when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 and wounding 138, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.

The majority of the casualties were women and children, the report said. It added that 26 civilians also had been abducted.

"I am outraged by these attacks deliberately targeting civilians seeking to exercise their constitutional right to vote," Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary general's special representative for Afghanistan, said.

Yamamoto urged the Taliban to take up Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's February offer of peace talks "to put an end to the suffering of the Afghan people".

The Taliban and Islamic State groups have made clear their intentions to disrupt the elections.

Meanwhile, the IEC said it would allow voters to use a copy of their national identification certificate, or tazkira, to register.

There had been concerns that a sticker placed on people's tazkira when they signed up could put those in restive districts at risk of being targeted by militants.

Stickers will now be placed on the copy, but voters will be required to bring their original tazkira when they cast their ballot, the IEC said.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.