SHARANA (Pajhwok): A number of protesting people on Friday closed the gate of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in southeastern Pakitka province in protest against what they said closure of 77 polling stations in nine districts due to high security threats.
Residents of nine districts took part in the protest demonstration in Sharana, the provincial capital. They erected a tent in front of the IEC office. The protestors said they would continue their agitation until all their legal demands were accepted.
Mualvi Yasin, one of the protestors and resident of Argun zone, said 77 polling stations in the zone encompassing nine districts had been discarded due to security threats, depriving more than 300,000 people of their right to enfranchise.
He said the closure of polling stations had angered local residents who in return closed the IEC office gate. He said they would not allow electoral materials to be dispatched to other districts.
Melma civil society and media organization head Yaqub Khan Manzor said closing the 77 polling stations in the nine districts was a joint decision of the IEC and the military. He said it was a wrong decision. He said people of the nine districts had assured of providing security to polling stations if opened.
A resident of Sararoza village in Sara Roza district, Mohammad Iqbal, said the military council and the IEC should review their decision of closing the so many polling stations.
Provincial Council chief Bakhtiar Gul Himmat said they had already shared the same issue with the provincial government, the election commission and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance.