Local News Summary - September 6, 2010
In today's local news: Fahim calls TV station to say he's alive; Helmand candidates voice poll transparency worries; Karzai moves district chiefs who are related to candidates; IEC official sacked in Baghlan; human rights chief urges voters to think about candidate choices; concerns over polling centers in Takhar and Balkh; IEC workers reported kidnapped; Karzai hosts poll security meeting.
Marshal Fahim Rejects Rumors Spread on his Death
TOLO 3pm, Sept 5
The Afghan First Vice President, Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, on Monday rejected news published earlier about his death by some websites
Speaking from Germany, Qasim Fahim told Tolo on the phone that he is completely well and will be back to Kabul next week. "I am completely healthy. I request the Afghan people not to trust news published by irresponsible websites," said Mr Fahim. [TOLO]
Helmand candidates doubt poll transparency
Pajhwok Afghan News, 8pm, Sept 5, 2010
A number of candidates from in Helmand province fear the September 18 parliamentary elections would not be transparent in a number of districts due to insecurity. They said not only that their own representatives, but national and international observers were also unable to travel to the troubled districts for monitoring the election.
Independent candidate Haji Abdul Saboor Sabiri said they were unable to send their representatives to those districts. Less than 20 per cent of the candidates so far had managed to go there as part of their election campaign, he added.
He expressed the fear that only warlords or those having underhand deal with the election officials would win the vote in troubled areas. [PAN]
Karzai orders transfer of district chiefs
Pajhwok Afghan News, 6pm, Sept 5, 2010
President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered the transfer of district chiefs and police commanders whose relatives are contesting the September 18 parliamentary election. Karzai took the decision at a meeting that assessed security preparations for the forthcoming parliamentary vote, the Presidential Palace said in a brief statement.
The president asked the Independent Directorate of Local Governance and Ministry of Interior to follow the orders and ensure their strict implementation. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) are concerned the influence of security organs may undermine the transparency of the second post-Taliban legislative ballot. [PAN]
Dr Sima Samar: Vote for those who are not accused of violating human rights
8am, Dari daily, Sept 6, 2010
The Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Dr Sima Samar, has asked voters to perform their civic duties with at most care and not to vote for those who have committed crimes against humanity and have violated human rights.
Speaking on a trip to Bamiyan province, Ms Samar said lawlessness, the lack of security and people’s unawareness of their civic rights and responsibilities have been the main hurdles to achieving human rights in Afghanistan.
She asked voters to keep in mind the principles of human rights in making decision on whom to vote for, saying it was the only way of keeping violators of human rights out of parliament.
Some polling centers in Takhar province are facing serious security challenges
Mandegar, Dari daily, Sept 6, 2010
Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials in Takhar say that some of the polling centers in the province are facing serious security challenges and might have to remain closed on election day. However, officials in the province have pledged to improve the security situation before the election is held.
Tight security arrangement for elections in Balkh province
Mandegar, Dari daily, Sept 6, 2010
Balkh Governor Atta Muhammad Noor says security challenges are the biggest obstacle in the way of the Wolesi Jirga elections. Speaking at a press conference in Mazar-e Sharif, Mr Noor said that 67 polling centers out of the 989 in the province are facing critical security threats. A further 17 polling centers are classed as having medium-level security threats. Most of the least secure polling centers are in Chamtal, Charboluk, and Sholgara districts. Noor said security forces in the province, with the help of ISAF, are working to improve the security situation in the province and he was confident that effective measures would be in place to conduct the election in a peaceful environment.
Four IEC workers including two drivers have been kidnapped in Balkh province
Wakht News Agency, September 6, 2010
Local security forces in Ghor province say four officials with the Independent Election Commission (IEC), including two drivers, have been kidnapped in Pasawand and Theora districts of the western province, Wakht News Agency reports. Security authorities have started investigating the issue and believe Taliban insurgents might be responsible for this kidnapping. An IEC official, who spoke to the news agency on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that two members of their public outreach team have been kidnapped in Ghor. [Wakht]
IEC officer sacked in Baghlan
Pajhwok Afghan News, 4pm, Sept 6, 2010
The deputy head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in northern Baghlan province was sacked on Monday, an official said. Kabul-based IEC bosses had decided to remove Muhammad Daud Hunarmand, commission spokesman Noor Muhammad Noor told Pajhwok Afghan News, giving no reason for the sacking. [PAN]
The parliamentary election security situation was discussed in a special meeting
Anis, Dari daily, Sept 6, 2010
President Hamid Karzai presided over a meeting held to discuss the security preparation for the upcoming parliamentary election. The meeting included Karim Khalili, the second vice-president, Minister of Interior General Besmillah Khan, Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, IEC Chairman Fazal Ahmad Manawi, UNAMA head Staffan de Mistura, ISAF Commander General David Petraeus and US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry. Mr Manawi told the group that election material has been delivered to the provinces without any problem while Gen. Petraeus said that international forces would fully cooperate with Afghan security forces to provide security to the election process.