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Many fail to get voter cards due to crowd

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): A large number of people on Monday complained they could not be issued voter registration cards due to insufficient staff at the provincial Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in northwestern Faryab province.
Hundreds of people, most of them coming all the way from Andkhoy, Qaram Qul, Khanchar Bagh and Qarghan districts, gathered in front of the IEC office in Maiama, in a mark of protest.
A Qaram Gul district resident, Haji Abdul Malik, told Pajhwok Afghan News he along with 80 villagers traveled about 100 kilometers to reach Maimana for getting voter card, but their turn did not come.
“In addition to giving transport fare and leaving behind our own works undone, we braved security threats to reach the city. But still we are unable to get cards and may not be able elect our candidate,” said the elder.
He said there were only two officers available at the IEC office and the pair could not deal with so many people visiting them for voter cards.
Malik said most residents of Andkhoy district were poor and could not afford transport fares to visit Maimana again and again.
He asked the IEC to reopen registration centre in districts so that locals could take part in the elections.
He said 30 women coming from Andokhoy district returned back home empty-handed due to crowd at the registration office.
A woman, who did not provide her name, said they arrived here to obtain voter cards, but failed to do so.
A provincial council candidate, Dr Gul Mohammad Rassouli, who visited the IEC office, claimed hundreds of his supporters were yet to get voter cards. He warned the IEC office of consequences if it did not address the problem.
But regional IEC chief Syed Massoum Massoumi said they could not increase the number of voter registration officers due to lack of facilities.
He said it was the IEC’s policy to keep open only one office each provincial capital with two male and as many female workers.
However, he said the main IEC office in Kabul had been informed about the issue. Massoumi said so far 110,000 people in Faryab had been issued with voter cards.

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