KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Some polling stations may remain closed on the Election Day in southeastern Khost province, an official suggested on Sunday.
A total of 192 polling stations are to be set up in Khost but, according to security officials, at least 27 sites are situated in areas facing high-security threats.
Polling stations facing security threats are located in Ali Sher, Sabri, Bak, Nader Shah Kot, Ismael Mandozi, Spera, Musakhel and Qalandar districts.
Meanwhile, tribal elders and provincial council members hit out at the government for declaring the polling stations sensitive on the basis of deals with some candidates.
They alleged no security threat \existed in the above districts and the polling stations would be closed deliberately to oblige certain election runners.
Haji Mark Zadran, a tribal elder and resident of Nader Shah Kot district, accused the government of planning to shut the polling stations to please a Wolesi Jirga candidate.
He remarked the government’s refusal to reverse its decision would amount to an act of treason and a conspiracy against the people of these areas.
“Even polling stations right in front of security check-posts have been declared sensitive on the desire of a Wolesi Jirga hopeful who does not have a strong vote bank in these areas,” he maintained.
Provincial council member Kafeel Rehan acknowledged security threats in some areas and blamed security institutions for not outing in place the requisite arrangements.
“Some of our districts such as Spera and Qalandar are faced with huge security threats. The election may not be possible there, barring the districts centres,” he believed.
Shah Jahan Sardari, head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), for Khost, said they were fully prepared to conduct the Wolesi Jirga elections in the province.
“Preparations have been made for opening 186 polling stations and all necessary material has arrived and workers have been appointed as well,” he said.
But police chief Brig. Gen. Akhtar Mohammad Noorzai did not rule out the closure of some polling station at the behest of some candidates. He said a report had been dispatched to the central government.
The Wolesi Jirga election is scheduled for October 20.

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