Afghanistan Independent Election Commission has taken decision to close six polling stations in Uruzgan Province. Two of the polling stations are located in Hazara populated areas of Uruzgan Khas District. Those two areas are Gandao High School and Hossaini High School. Estimated 18,000 Hazara voters are eligible to vote in this election. During 2005 election, 4649 people cast their votes.
Other 4 polling stations are based in insecure Pashtoon populated areas. It seems Election Commission has taken this decision to reduce chance of Hazaras to elect their representatives. A Hazara Female candidate, Ms. Raihana Azad has already expressed her concern to UNAMA and trying her level best to change this decision but she acknowledges that all might be in vein.
Such nonsense decisions have been taken in overall Afghanistan. Polling stations are reduced because of bad security situation but everyone knows that Security prevails but still many polling stations are closed. Thus thousands of people might be deprived to vote. It will definitely effect on electing their representatives to the parliament. During my visits to Daikundi and Yakawlang, Bamyan Center and other places, Hazaras expressed their deep concern over reduction in number of polling stations. They have formally requested UNAMA to lobby for change of Election Commission’s decision. But few days ago Election Commission issued a press release, reaffirming their decision of reduction of polling stations. UNAMA also supported this decision.