Security problems top concern of Afghans before elections

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-11-8 21:45:06

As the date for Afghan presidential and provincial councils' elections draw closer, security problems remained a major concern for election officials and ordinary Afghans.

"I am not sure if the security conditions allow me to cast my vote on the election day," a street vendor in Baghlan province, Wali Bai, told Xinhua recently.

"Who can guarantee that such attack won't be repeated on the voting day?" he asked, recalling the deadly suicide attack in Baghlan province five years ago which claimed the lives of more than 50 people, including six parliamentarians.

Afghanistan's third presidential and provincial councils' elections since the collapse of Taliban regime in late 2001, which is slated for April 5, 2014, will be held amid tight security across the militancy-plagued country.

Taliban militants who staged a violent comeback in 2006, in a statement released recently, termed the elections as "a waste of time" and vowed to disrupt the process.

According to Afghan media reports, Afghanistan's election commission has already seen its Kunduz provincial chief assassinated; two of its employees have been abducted in Faryab province and three employees of the election body were injured as their vehicle ran over a mine on a road planted by Taliban militants in Ghor province a couple of days ago.

Out of a total of 6,845 polling stations in the country, 3,435 are said to not face any security threats, local newspaper the Daily Outlook said. However, 945 centers have been categorized under low security threats; the remaining polling stations are under medium or serious security threats.

"We have always shared our security concerns with the security institutions and held several meetings with them in this respect," the spokesman for the election commission, Noor Mohammad Noor, said Wednesday, according to the daily.

Meanwhile, spokesman for Interior Ministry Sediq Sediqi has assured that the security institutions will spare no efforts to ensure security for the upcoming elections.

In addition, President Hamid Karzai has reportedly kept a watchful eye on security issues related to the elections, calling on security apparatus to ensure security for next year's elections.

According to another newspaper the Daily Afghanistan, the bodies of seven Afghan soldiers who had been abducted by Taliban militants were recently found in Zabul province on Wednesday.

The paper also said hundreds of police, including women police, are needed in the central Bamyan province to ensure election security.

"I want to use my franchise in favor of my candidate on the election day but I'm afraid of Taliban brutal suicide attack or finger-chopping," Sahat Gul of the southern Helmand province said, referring to the reported finger-chopping of some people in the previous elections held in 2009.

Posted in: Mid-East

blog comments powered by Disqus