Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Doubts and Distrusts on Holding a Sound Election

In spite of so many doubts and distrusts, the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) has announced a number of plans to hold the parliamentary and district councils in late 2018. The process of voter’s enrolment in Kabul and provincial centers has practically started but it raised various objections that IEC had not raised public awareness and blaming the government that has frequently postponed election to arrange the elections on its own favor ignoring the public demands for election reforms. Previously they have announced that election will be held on 7th July, 2018 but later announced that due delayed appointment of a member of the IEC, the plans of the IEC has changed and the elections would not be held on the mentioned date.
Anyway, according to IEC official, the registering process of districts and villages will begin after provincial center completes. As IEC planned, the voter registration process will take two months while the concerns are expressed that it may not be possible to complete the process within the mentioned time period. ICE also announced that they will start the process of candidate’s registration for the parliamentary and district councils on the 1st of July 2018 then the election will be held on 20th of September, 2018. 
Now, ensuring the lection security and transparency issues are the main concerns of Afghan people. Because the Taliban’s mobility has increased in the new solar year, and they repeatedly planned sudden and devastating attacks on military shells and government centers. Unfortunately, they have often succeeded in achieving their sinister goals by organizing such deadly attacks. Their successive attacks in Ghazni, especially on Khwaja Omari is one of the prominent recent example of such attacks killing dozens of civilians and government personnel. In this attack, the Taliban succeeds in moving the district building and kill the district governor, security chief and deputy chief of DNS, including twenty security forces. Such attacks, while highlighting the weakness of the security forces, and in particular the local intelligence agencies, highlight the possibility of the Taliban’s influence within the security and administrative apparatus.
In the other words, the enemies who are called “the spies”,  have become a serious problem for security forces and Afghan people in recent years. Many of the Taliban’s invasive and suicide attacks have been carried out in co-operation with the enemy’s infiltration forces and, despite the criticisms made by the citizens on the intelligence and intelligence agencies; much progress has been made yet.
One of the factors contributing to the influence of enemies within government agencies is the devastating phenomenon of corruption and co-ownership in the country’s departments. The process of hiring security forces is not transparent. Instead of assessment of individuals’ merit, it is important to have recommendations from a certain party or be attached to a certain ethnic influential individual or group. If a person is somehow affiliated with senior officials, it’s easy to be hired without screening his intellectual and educational background.
However, the security officials have pledged to secure election security, but there are still a number of polling stations facing a serious security threats.“Polling centers with high-security threats have been included in Nusrat military operation in order to be cleared completely to have peaceful elections,” Najib Danish, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Spokesman said to the media. According to the MoI, from the total 7,355 polling stations, 1,120 polling centers across the nation face high-security threats and another 948 polling centers are not under the control of government forces. Meanwhile, 1,122 centers are under medium threat which need to be secured by the security institutions. In the words, out of seven thousand polling centers, over 3,000 of them are in insecure areas. Of these, close to 1,000 polling stations will be entirely closed to citizens on the Election Day, the accessibility of other centers will depend on the success of launching major security operations in order to be open to the people on the elections day.
In addition to security and transparency issues, the time limitations is another issue for holding a successful and pervasive election which has caused so many doubts and distrusts amongst national and international stakeholders. Someo international community organizations including the United Nations, believe that under the most favorable conditions, the earliest date on which an election could feasibly be held, is October 2018. While Many Western diplomats believe that it is impossible to hold elections on the mentioned date. So, if IEC fails to hold the election on the specified day, then due to Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain, bad roads and lack of security the election may be delayed in the remote areas during the winter.