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Protesters Close Election Commission’s Office In Balkh

14 Jul 2018 Tolo News

Dozens of protesters on Friday closed the provincial office of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in northern Balkh province in reaction to the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, the police chief of Qaisar district in Faryab.

Qaisari is a close aide to the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who is in exile in Turkey.  

During the past three days, protestors have closed the provincial offices of the election commission in Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan and Takhar provinces. 

The protesters said they want Qaisari to be freed and Dostum to return to the country. They warned to boycott upcoming elections if their demands were not met.

“We do not want elections without Gen. Dostum,” the protesters wrote on the wall of the election commission’s office in Balkh. 

“The protesters today closed the office of the independent election commission,” Feda Mohammad, a protester, said. 

TOLOnews reporter Aref Musavi said government forces surrounded the IEC office following its closure by protestors. 

This comes as six local forces belonged to Qaisari were freed on Friday.

Reports indicate that the first vice president is set to return home from Turkey in the near future.

The protesters said they have voted to Ghani and that they ask him to be accountable towards their votes. They also called on the president to resign.

“We want you (President Ashraf Ghani) to be accountable to every single votes of us,” Nusrat, a protester, said. 

“Why our soldiers were killed, why bullets were shot in their mouths?” asked Behroz, a protester.

Qaisari was arrested on July 2 by a Special Force Unit in Faryab province over claims that he insulted security officials at a meeting in Faryab last month.

The decision was followed by widespread protests in northern provinces.

Original Link: https://www.tolonews.com/elections-2018/protesters%C2%A0close-election-commission%E2%80%99s-office-balkh

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