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Officials Beef Up Candidate's Security

General Salem Ehsas, Chairman of the Election Security Commission (ESC) has said that 385 security officers have been assigned as detail to the Presidential candidates and their Vice Presidential running mates with the start of campaigns only two days away.

Based on the Election Law, the Presidential election campaigns start on February 2 and will continue through March 13. The Provincial Council candidates will be be allowed to start their election campaigns on March 4 and continue through April 2.

The ESC has assured that effective security measures have been taken to ensure the security of the candidates during their campaigns.

"Candidates will inform us 48 hours ahead of time, and then our security forces, including NDS and other institutions will take over their security," General Ehsas said. "The security institutions are responsible for maintaining the security of Presidential candidates, wherever they are 15 guards have been assigned for the candidates and ten guards for their running mates, alongside one armored vehicle for each candidate and a following vehicle."

The IEC also announced that a meeting would be held between the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the 11 Presidential candidates, security officials and the national security advisor to discuss plans for election security.

"We will have another meeting with them, at the beginning of next week, especially to discuss security preparations, campaign security, Presidential candidates security and their supporters," IEC Secretariat Chief Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail said. "The Minister of Interior, NDS Director, Minister of Defense, Head of National Security Council and Director of Independent Directorate of Local Governance will also be there to answer the questions and concerns of candidates."

President Hamid Karzai's National Security Advisor Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta has assured that the government will do everything it can to provide foolproof security during the electoral process.

"We have made preparations based on our capacity, and we regularly evaluate and update our information, just like Westerners," Dr. Spanta said. "But this is Afghanistan, and we will hold the elections in Afghanistan with all of its problems."

Friday, 31 January 2014, TOLO News  

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