The head of the Independent Election Commission, Abdulbadi Sayyad, said the commission should not be blamed for the problems experienced on election day on Saturday.
The problems on the election day were not because of “weak management” by the Independent Election Commission, the IEC chief said as he addressed a press conference on Sunday.
“There were some inefficiencies which are not related to the commission’s management,” the IEC chief said. “It should be made clear to the people that there were legal limitations which did not let us manage well and open centers on time or to appoint employees with sufficient skills.”
He said that based on the law, they appointed schoolteachers for election day. According to him, the Education Ministry’s employees did not cooperate with the commission as required.
He said the commission had a limited time to train the employees – which according to him led to technical problems and difficulties with biometric devices on election day.
“We sent an official letter to the Ministry of Education to allow its teachers time off and to give them off days so that they get training on elections,” he said.
Sayyad said the biometric devices were working and that there were some individuals who tried to spread rumors about the devices and disrupt the process in their favor.
He said people defied all the threats and showed that they have full willingness to determine their future through ballots.
The IEC chief said polling centers in 22 provinces (253 centers) will be open on Sunday.
He said the transfer of ballot boxes has started from districts to provincial centers and from there to Kabul.
According to him, 80% of ballots cast have already been counted and that the rest will be counted in Kabul.
5,333 Complaints Lodged
Figures by the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) show that 5,333 complaints were lodged with the commission on the first day of parliamentary elections.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the IECC spokesman Ali Reza Rouhani said 1,700 complaints have been lodged in Kabul – which had the highest number so far but said many of these are not necessarily complaints but rather reports of problems experienced.
According to him, 15 complaints were lodged in Khost – which had the lowest number of complaints compared with other provinces.
He acknowledged that there are technical problems relating to the elections but said that the participation of women in the elections was very high.
The IECC spokesman said a number of biometric devices are not working at some centers in Kabul and in other provinces, including a center in the west of Kabul.
He said people have 48 hours to send their complaints to the commission on the electoral process.
MoI Assured Of Security For Elections
The Ministry of Interior Affairs has assured the public that they will ensure security of all polling centers on the second day of the elections in the country.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said all polling centers that were closed on Saturday were open on Sunday and that voters can go and cast their vote in a secure environment.
Danish said that so far on Sunday, no security issue has been reported against polling centers.
He said the transfer of election materials to provincial centers and from there to Kabul has started.