KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Though some problems and violations marred the Wolesi Jirga elections in southern Kandahar province, yet the overall process was a success in the province, an election observer said Sunday.
Ziba, an election observer in Kandahar in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said a limited fraud cases occurred in Kandahar compared to past elections due to the usage of biometric system.
The Wolesi Jirga elections were delayed for a week in Kandahar province after the assassination of police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq.
Ziba said a large number of people thronged polling stations in Kandahar early in the morning prior to the start of the voting process.
However, she said the voting process commenced one hour or two hours late in some polling stations. But the voting time in such stations was extended by one and two hours to enable people to cast their votes beyond 4pm, 5pm and 6pm, she added.
The voting in some polling stations in Kandahar City and districts began at 9am and 12pm.
Citing an example, Ziba said voting in Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan area of Kandahar city started at 9am while people had arrived there at 7am.
She said names of voters could not be found easily in voter lists while some election workers were not familiar with biometric system.
There was one biometric device for three polling stations in the third police district of Kandahar city, thus people voted in only one polling station at a time, she said.
Ziba said some other polling stations faced similar problems. She criticized some election observers for misguiding women voters to vote for a specific candidate against their choice in some areas.
She continued voting in Maiwand district of Kandahar went slow as a voter took half an hour to cast vote.
In some areas, election observers were not given complaints registration forms to fill complaints, the observer said.
Around 200 Independent Election Commission (IEC) workers did not show up for duty due to security threats, she said.
Later IEC employed other people to handle the election process but it took some time and delayed the voting process, she added.
She said mismanagement of the IEC was a reason that resulted in faults and problems in the election process.
However, Ziba said the voting process after 12pm turned normal after technical teams resolved problems.
Despite problems, there were a limited fraud cases due to the biometric system, she said.
She said no major fraud case was reported so far about Wolesi Jirga elections in Kandahar.