Understaffing Shouting Matches Mar Afghan Poll Preparations

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KABUL – Infighting, a lack of expertise and unfilled vacancies within Afghanistan’s election body raise doubts about whether polls planned this year can be held on time, according to Afghan and international agency officials, with one likening planning meetings to “a fish market”.

October’s vote, already much-delayed, is seen as a crucial test for democracy in a country at war for four decades, and comes amid increasing attacks by Taliban and Islamic State insurgents who have threatened to target the electoral process.

But in the last six months, the chairman and CEO of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), have been sacked, and an acting CEO quit. The head of human resources was also sacked this month, having failed to hire hundreds of provincial electoral officers.




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