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Polling Centers Once Threatened Now Expected to Open: MoI

Most of the 390 polling centers previously expected to be closed on account of security threats during the upcoming elections are now expected to be open, the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) said on Saturday.

Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi held a press conference in Kabul on Saturday, and announced that a new report on election security detailing the improved situation would be released on Sunday.

"We are trying to provide security for more polling centers on the election day," Sediqqi said. "Tomorrow the new list will be released, showing that the number of polling centers that previously faced security threats has decreased."

The last election security report provided by the MoIA in January indicated that out of the 6,645 total polling stations, 414 in various parts of the country would likely remain closed due to security threats.

Meanwhile, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced that they are ready to transfer election materials such as ballots and voter registrees to their provincial offices.

"All the important materials of the elections are ready," IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor Said. "The first materials will be transferred 25 days before the election day and the second will be sent to the polling centers a week before the elections."

Noor assured that election officials were coordinating with the relevant security institutions regarding the transfer of election materials.

NATO coalition officials have offered foreign military support for the protection and transportation of the materials. However, it does not appear the IEC has decided to take them up on the offer.

The Presidential and Provincial Council elections are scheduled to take place on April 5.

Saturday, 22 February 2014, TOLO News

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