Election System To Be Computerized, Officials

Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The election system would be computerized a move if done, would guarantee transparent elections, officials of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) said.
In fact, this will be effective for holding transparent elections and acceleration of votes’ counting process, they further said. At the same time, the Population Registration Administration declared it is ready to start distribution process of electronic ID cards within three months, Homayoun Mohtat, head of the administration said. At the first stage, the electronic ID cards will tentatively be distributed for six months and then, the process will practice all-over the country. These programs are promising for holding transparent elections in the country. The government of Afghanistan had earlier been using the oldest mechanisms in electoral system which resulted in many problems in collection of votes, specifying the number of voters, wide frauds and announcing the result of elections. The issue had faced the country’s election with a failed experience, an action which would have Election system to be computerized, officials led the process to crisis.
The past electoral crises have caused the people not to trust in elections anymore, thus, the government should pay serious heed to pave the way for holding fair and transparent elections throughout the country. Now, the plan which is about to be done by IEC can really be an essential step toward holding transparent elections in the country. Indeed, this is not that easy to apply but will take long. To computerize the election process will cost much. Above all, using advanced technology particularly in remote areas will face the IEC with serious problems, because, there is not enough professional force to use such systems in different parts of the country. Furthermore, it needs much time if the IEC wants to establish the capacity for the process through trainings. On the other, the distribution process of electronic ID-cards has not been started so far and if it starts within three months, the related office cannot surely distribute ID-cards to nearly 14 million eligible people before the parliamentary elections.
Anyway, implementation of such plans can take long and if the government wants to execute them, it is not that easy to be completed in six months. Delay in holding election process is a great blow to newly-established democracy body of Afghanistan, as the parliamentary elections which was about to be held two years ago, has been postponed so far. Likewise, if the parliamentary elections are not held this year will affect the next presidential elections. The National Unity Government tenure will end by 2019—a year that the presidential elections should be held. Thus, if the parliamentary elections are held in 2018, the government might be unable to hold the presidential elections in 2019. Therefore, delay in parliamentary elections will follow with delay in presidential elections, an action which will face the democratic process and country with challenges.
Lailuma Noori

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