How much more should Afghans pay price of election?

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 02:53 Written by  Read 99 times

The preparations cycle of parliamentary and district council election was unfortunately bloody from onset. Voter registration centers have been the target of constant terror attacks since their opening. Tens of Afghans have lost their lives in attacks on voter registration centers across the country over the last several weeks. The recent incident of its kind happened on Sunday in southeastern Khost province, in which a bomb exploded inside a mosque that also housed a voter registration center, leaving behind 17 Afghans martyred and 34 others wounded. In a separate incident, insurgents have burned down a school in Logar province because it served as a voter registration center.
The National Unity Government, which had delayed the parliamentary and district council election for so long under various excuses, has now also failed to protect voter registration centers. The government leaders spent most of their time on political wrangling, and now that the presidential election is approaching, they launched the voter registration process as a campaign trail, while no prior security arrangements had been made. The launch of such a significant process without appropriate security measures is nothing, but intentionally jeopardizing the lives of Afghan citizens.
In addition to attacks on voter registration centers, the people registering their names to become eligible to vote in the upcoming election are also faced with personal security/safety threat. The Independent Election Commission is attaching stickers to the original national identity cards of voters instead of giving them voting cards, thereby putting them at risk of being harassed or killed by the militants while traveling to areas under their control, or stopped at Taliban checkpoints.
The government is largely bogged down in things that are not priority. Instead of prioritizing the protection of Afghan people, President Ghani is wasting time by organizing conferences under one name or another at the Presidential Palace. Economic self-reliance is doubtlessly a dire need, yet it is not important more than the lives of people. The life of Afghan people should be first, comes then the economy. People should have a strong economy after they have life, because “cemetery does not need economic plans.”
The government has to pay keen attention to the overall security situation, more particularly to the voter registration centers. If it cannot provide security, it should not put people’s lives at risk, and rather seek alternatives that make it possible to carry out election without people being killed in cold blood. The loss of life is a heavy price no one should pay for an election, whose transparency is not guaranteed.

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