KABUL: Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday started dispatching biometric devices that will be used to prevent vote rigging in parliamentary elections slated for Oct. 20.
Around 22,000 biometric units arrived in Kabul on Friday, of which 21,000 will be sent to various provinces, including 70 restive districts, the IEC said.
The government will send the biometric devices mostly by helicopter, IEC spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi told Arab News.
The government has only been able to secure 5,100 polling centers out of the 7,384 that the IEC had proposed, he said.
Political candidates formally launched their election campaigns on Sept. 28 amid security threats and terrorist attacks. Campaigning will continue until two days before the elections.
At least six candidates and scores of civilians have been killed in attacks, mostly claimed by Daesh.
Although the government has accepted the use of biometric units to counter fraud, election watchdogs are skeptical that they will be used properly given the shortage of time and poor security.
“The election will be problematic. Compared to previous elections, there are far more challenges, including security threats and a lack of transparency,” former IEC chief Fazl Ahmad Manawi told Arab News.
“In previous elections, the south and east were unsafe. But now, the north has become unsafe as well,” he said.
“In the current situation, I don’t know how the government can manage the election. And if it does take place, will the results be acceptable to the people?”