The election commission says telecom companies did not provide the required assistance needed to use the biometric devices online.
Biometric Devices Were Used Offline On Elections Day
The Independent Election Commission said that telecommunication companies did not show a willingness to connect the biometric devices to internet services on the days of elections therefore the devices were used offline.
According to the commission, up to four million people voted on October 20 and 21 in 32 provinces. The parliamentary elections in Kandahar were held on Saturday – after a week’s delay.
“No institution could ensure internet services for the elections therefore we had no option but to use the biometric devices offline in the whole process,” said Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, a spokesman for the IEC.
Earlier the commission said that the biometric devices will be connected to the internet in areas with internet services on the elections day.
“All devices are collected and are connected to the main server and all data is included in the system and then repeated votes and suspicious cases will be assessed,” said Ibrahimi.
The use of biometric devices was the result of government’s decision to hold a transparent election – following increased pressure by political parties.
Almost 22,000 biometric devices were purchased by government from a German company. The arrival of the devices faced a delay in some provinces and election employees had problems in using the new system on election day.
Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, criticized the commission this week for the problem.
“As a sore reality, the (election) process was very weak in terms of technical (processes) and capacity of employees,” the Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said.
“People wanted biometric systems to be used for elections,” said Ali Akbar Qasemi, an MP.
The parliamentary elections witnessed a good turnout by Afghans over elections, especially women but dozens of security incidents happened around the country.
Addressing an event in Kabul on Saturday, the Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami said the government forces ensured the safety of the elections with the price of their blood.
“The threat level was very high but the brave security and defense forces succeeded in holding the process successfully,” Bahrami said.