The Afghan parliament is making efforts to shift to electronic voting from paper voting and work on the new plan is 90 percent complete, the Wolesi Jirga Secretariat said on Monday.
The plan also includes an electronic system tracking MPs’ attendance, the secretariat said.
The Wolesi Jirga recently voted for at least 16 nominee ministers and directorates. In their voting sessions, almost all 248 lawmakers were present, but Monday's session was held with 10 MPs.
“The voting system in the Wolesi Jirga will shift to electronic in the next few days as the technical department of the Wolesi Jirga has completed the project by 90 percent,” said Hujjatullah Kheradmand, the deputy head of the parliament secretariat.
Last Wednesday, the voting process for five nominee ministers and Central Bank acting governor was disrupted due to a dispute on some votes that were marked twice.
When counting the votes for acting education minister Rangina Hamidi, the secretariat of the house, Assadullah Shahbaz, was accused of forging the votes by some MPs. He was accused of adding an “invalid vote” that was marked twice to the votes in favor of the nominee minister.
“Mr. Secretary made a mistake, and I was there that day and I saw that he added the vote mistakenly,” said Sayed Ali Kazimi, deputy of the ministry for parliamentary affairs.
Assadullah Shahbaz did not comment on the matter.
“When voting ends, there are roughly 100 to 120 lawmakers in the house. This is an oppression against the people,” said Shahpoor Hassanzoi, head of the audit committee of the Wolesi Jirga.
A question that raised is why has the voting system remained paper-based so far and why hasn’t there been any effort to shift it to electronic?
An MP from Herat, Habib-Ur-Rahman Pedram, said that he is sure that the electronic voting system will “prevent corruption by (some) MPs.”
Sources said that aid agencies started their efforts to make the voting system electronic since 2017, but a large number of lawmakers were against this move.