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kabul
November 21, 2018
The Kabul Times

Security of polling centers a must

Security remains the biggest challenge in Afghanistan, where more than 50,000 forces are being deployed across Afghanistan as the country prepares to go to the polls to elect new Lower House members in less than a week.
Nearly 9 million Afghans are expected to head to the polls on Saturday, Oct 20, which will be held against the backdrop of increased threat from militant groups. It will be first election after withdrawal of most of international troops from the country in 2014.
According to Ministry of Interior, this election will be fully secured by the Afghan forces, hoping there would be no security incident in no part of the country. Meanwhile a spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan reiterated the alliance’s support to the country adding it will remain “strictly impartial” in the upcoming polls.
Ensuring the security of the polls and transparency issues are the main concerns of the Afghan people. Because the Taliban’s mobility has increased in the new solar year, and they repeatedly planned sudden and devastating attacks on military shells, public places and government centers.
However, the security officials have pledged to ensure election security, but there are still a number of polling stations facing serious security threats. According to MoI Spokesman, polling centers with high-security threats have been included in Nusrat Military Operation in order to be cleared completely to have peaceful elections.
International community has expressed full faith in the demonstrative capabilities and competencies of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) to steer the election process with appropriate responses to constructive criticism. International community is supporting Afghanistan with high expectations, as credible and transparent election will build the trust of Afghans in democracy and Afghan institutions, which will lead to all-inclusive peace, security and development. 
Indeed, holding safe and sound elections depends upon to public’s support of the process and it is needed to be understood by everyone that one of the most dominating attributes of democracy is the process of election. True elections let the public govern themselves; therefore, in a democratic state or government is not anything beyond the public will.
For Afghanistan’s political survival and its journey towards a democratic country, it is vital that the parliamentary elections are held on time, without fraud and manipulation and with maximum security arrangements so that most of the people who desire to cast their votes are able to do so. 
Meanwhile besides security of the polls, delivering electoral integrity in Afghanistan is a collective responsibility. It involves the active participation of multiple stakeholders, governments, IEC, civil society organizations, the electoral, media, the security apparatus and election observers and monitors, local and international organizations. 
This is a delicate teamwork and any flaw or irregularity has the potential to trigger avoidable conflagration that could undermine the peace process and further deteriorate social stratra in the country, increase the gap between the people and government, worsen security and also derail democracy.

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