Provincial office of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) says the voter registration process is running slow in Paktia province as a low number of people have so far registered their names since Saturday when the process was kicked off across the country.
At least 1,300 people have registered their names since Saturday, Mohammad Zahir Akbari, head of the IEC office in Paktia, told TOLOnews on Friday.
“We call on security agencies to boost their cooperation with us in order to move the process forward. The national identity cards issuance also requires accelerating,” Akbari said.
Paktia officials meanwhile assured the IEC and the people to ensure the safety of voter registration centers.
“We are fully prepared to launch military operation if we find that people cannot register their names due to security issues (in Paktia districts),” PaktiaGovernor Shamim Khan Katawazai said.
“There has been no security problem since the day when the voter registration centers were opened in Paktia. People and IEC officials are requested to share any problem which they face during this process. Government forces are ready to help them,” said Major Nesar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai, Security Officerin Paktia Police Headquarters.
TOLOnews journalist Abdulhaq Omeri who visited a registration center in Gardez City, the provincial capital, said the people’s turnout was much low in the center on Thursday.
Roya, a schoolteacher in Gardez City, said lack of people’s interest to stamp their identity cards has affected the voter registration process.
“One reason is that lawmakers and even the president have not delivered their commitments to the people; therefore, people are not interested to register their names and vote,” Roya said.
Paktia tribal elders asked the residents to register their names to become eligible to vote for their favorite candidates in the upcoming elections.
“There is a need for public awareness programs on elections and voter registration process. Meanwhile, lawmakers have not done a good job to have public trust in them,” a tribal elder, Khawani Jahani, said.
“We call on the people to register their names to be able to vote for determining their fate and electing their favorite candidates,” Paktia resident Sayed Massoud said.
This comes after the Independent Election Commission on Thursday said it is working to finalize the process of recruiting at least 400 employees to work on the voter registration database.
According to IEC statistics, over the past five days, 113,924 people registered, of which 37,000 of them were women.