The Independent Election Commission (IEC) will kick off voter registration process for the upcoming presidential elections on May 10, using biometric system, an IEC spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said.
The use of biometric system was one of the most “controversial” issues which faced the parliamentary elections with criticism over alleged fraud and lack of transparency. The use of biometric system in voter registration process has been mentioned in the amended election law in order to provide the ground for transparent elections.
Ibrahimi said the election commission has not made any attempt to supply more biometric devices for the upcoming polls.
“If organizations or companies have the ability to make available internet connections in all parts of the country, we will be able to use biometric technology online,” said Ibrahimi.
Changing the electoral system from the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) to Single Transferable Vote (STV) is another commitment made by the election commission to the government and the people.
Members of two electoral monitoring organizations said they doubt the IEC’s ability to deliver promises on use of biometric system and other activities related to the presidential elections – scheduled for September 28.
“The amendments made to the election law cannot be implemented by the commission,” said Marwa Amini, a spokesperson for Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan. “The (election) commission does not have the capacity to hold elections in six months’ time using multi-dimensional representative (MDR) system.”
“The duty of the election commissions is to work on electoral affairs in accordance with the election law and have better preparation for holding transparent elections,” said Naeem Ayubzada, CEO of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.