Also, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesperson stated that over 72,000 security personnel have been deployed to provide security to 49,402 polling booths across the nation.
The IEC, however, said that the security institutions have yet to assure security for those districts threatened by insurgents.
“When we receive some formal notifications from those security agencies for those 5,373 centers– ‘you can’t open centers in certain districts’–this indicates, unfortunately, a security challenge and the people of Afghanistan are aware of it,” said IEC Commissioner Zarifa Rahimi.
“There will be security for polling stations during the elections and after the elections. We have taken the necessary security measures: 72,000 security force members and intelligence personnel have been assigned the task and they will be on red alert in the next few days. There are also about 20,000 to 30,000 members of reserve forces. Sensitive and non-sensitive election materials have been dispatched to the provinces. So we want to assure the people, the commission, and the candidates that security will be provided during the election,” said Nusrat Rahimi, spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior.
But election observers from the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) have raised serious concerns, such as the need to transport election materials to 89 districts by air, as well as staffing.
“Concerns still exist in those districts where there is still war and violence and threats can create barriers to the transportation of the materials. A second challenge is the recruitment of the employees. Even now, there are no statistics about how many of the centers could remain closed,” said Yousuf Rashid, head of FEFA.
The IEC previously estimated that 7,385 centers would be open on election day, but now only 5,373 centers will be open, according to current IEC statistics.
Kabul will have 558 open polling centers, with only two polling centers closed in the Kabul province.
Almost 300 polling centers out of 462 will remain open in Herat, a major province in western Afghanistan. Other western provinces such as Badghis, Ghor, and Farah will have the highest number of closed polling centers, with 136, 111,and 174 closed centers, respectively.