US, EU pledge to finance next elections: IEC

US, EU pledge to finance next elections: IEC

SAM Staff,

An official from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday said that the United States and the European Union (EU) have pledged to provide financial aid for the next parliamentary and provincial council elections in Afghanistan.

The international community has made a commitment to finance the next elections, said the IEC spokesman Abdul Badi Sayyad.

He said that the election management body has also started working on a number of programs related to the elections including the training of employees and a public awareness campaign.

“The commission and the Afghan government have finalized the first phase of the elections, also the international donors have called for the e-voting system, the second phase of the process will start next week; we have invited all chiefs of the ID and public awareness campaign from the provinces; tablets which have been purchased for the commission are there now, and training will be provided,” said Sayyad.

According to the IEC, the election commission will also start working on the digitalization of the voter lists. However election monitoring groups and observers still have some doubt about the IEC’s ability to hold the elections next year.

“There is the possibility that every electoral district could face medium or high threats. Government should ensure the security of the process from now so that the people can participate in the elections,” said Sediqullah Tawhidi, a member of the electoral reform commission.

“Technical capacity within the commission is another concern and it involves the commission’s technical abilities and whether it is able to manage and lead the elections properly from a technical perspective,” said Naeem Ayoubzada, head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s parliamentary and district council elections are scheduled for 7 July next year.