The biometric devices which were used in the parliamentary elections last October will be used for the upcoming presidential elections, an official of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Friday.
The election commission will update the software of the devices for the upcoming elections, said Mohammad Abdullah, an election commissioner.
“The biometric devices which are at the Central Statistics Organization are enough for the process and there is no need for purchasing of new devices,” said Abdullah. “The software of the devices will be renewed and once they are renewed, they will register 10 fingers instead of two fingers and it will solve a big part of our problems.”
Critics still remain skeptical about the efficiency of the biometric devices for holding transparent and fair elections.
“The biometric devices have failed,” political commentator Rahmatullah Bezhanpoor said. “The government and the election commission have a limited time to decide which type of elections to hold, how to manage the elections so that they are better than the parliamentary polls.”
Electoral observer organizations and representatives of political parties also remain skeptical about the impact of the devices on the elections.
An investigation conducted by few electoral monitoring organizations in Kabul shows that at least 5,000 biometric devices were lost during and after the parliamentary elections.
“Considering the new structure (of the election commission) and the political situation, we are worried that it will be difficult to have an acceptable election,” said Naeem Ayubzada, CEO of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.
This comes as the Independent Election Commission announced September 28 as a new date for the presidential elections.