From 315 polling centers in Balkh province, 41 are faced with high security threats and that they will remain closed on the election day, said the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) office in the northern province.
Twenty-four centers are faced with medium security threats, the IEC chief in Balkh Mohammad Zahir Akbari said.
Akbari said security and defense forces called on government forces to remove the threats from centers.
“We have 315 centers (in Balkh), and based on security forces assessments, 41 centers are about to fall (to militants) and 24 others are under high security threats,” said Akbari.
IEC statistics show that there are over 5,100 polling centers across the country and over 2,500 candidates are running for 249 seats in the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament.
According to IEC statistics, over 434,000 voters including 100,000 women, have registered their names for voting in October 20 elections. The statistics show that 85 candidates including 22 women from Balkh will compete in the elections.
The election campaign of parliamentary elections candidates in Balkh is ongoing similar to the campaigns in Kabul as contenders have installed banners and their photos in different parts of Mazar-e-Sharif city since the start of the process on Friday midnight.
Balkh residents welcomed the campaigns and called on government forces to maintain security of elections to prevent any possible security incident.
The residents urged the election commission to hold a fair and transparent election.
“First, security should be maintained so people can vote. And second, a transparent and fair election should be held,” said Mohammad Nabi, a Balkh resident.
“People will widely participate in the elections. One request that we have from our candidates is that they should respect order in the province,” said Safdar, a Balkh resident.
The residents said they remain worried about security threats in a number of Balkh districts including Chahar Bolak, Chamtal, Dawlat Abad, Shulgara and Shortepa, though Balkh police said they have the preparations for maintaining security.
Gen. Mohammad Akram Sami, Balkh police chief, said they will keep polling centers open to help the people vote for their favorite candidates by using their right of voting.
“Polling centers will be remain opened and people can safely go there and vote,” said Sami.
Sami said the Balkh police are implementing proper measures to candidates’ safety.
He asked candidates to hold their campaign gatherings in collaboration with police in order to prevent any security incident.