[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Taliban vow to disrupt Afghanistan elections

Group issues its harshest threat yet against anyone participating in April's presidential polls, calling them a "sham".

Last updated: 10 Mar 2014 10:55
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Afghanistan is to hold both provincial and presidential polls next month amid threats of violence by Taliban [AFP]

Kabul - The Taliban has warned Afghans not to participate in next month’s presidential polls and to stay away from voting booths, saying it will use "all force" to disrupt the vote.

Monday’s statement, the group's harshest on the elections so far, came 26 days ahead of the nation’s third presidential and provincial council polls.

We once again call on all of our countrymen to keep away from electoral offices, voting booths, rallies and campaigns so that may Allah forbid, their lives are not put into danger.

-Taliban statement

The group had released previous statements warning the Afghan people not to participate in the April 5 ballot, but Monday’s appeared to be the most strongly-worded yet.

The Taliban vowed to "use all force at its disposal to disrupt these upcoming sham elections; target all its workers, activists, callers, security apparatus and offices and the nation.

"It is the religious obligation of every Afghan to fulfil their duty by foiling the latest plot of the invaders that is guised in the garb of elections," the nation’s largest armed opposition movement said in the statement, which was posted online.

The statement went on to urge religious scholars, educators, and "famous personalities" to "inform the entire nation … make it known to each and every person of this society that their casting ballots and participation is considered assistance of the Kuffar [infidels] and their stooges against Islam".

It urged "the nation" to hinder any process that would allow schools, mosques, clinics and other public places to be used as registration and polling centres.

"We once again call on all of our countrymen to keep away from electoral offices, voting booths, rallies and campaigns so that may Allah forbid, their lives are not put into danger. If anyone still persists on participating then they are solely responsible of any loss in the future."

In the capital alone, three high schools have already been delegated as registration centres.

Healthcare fears

Since campaigning began on February 2, teams working for the front-runners,  Doctor Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, have both been attacked. The Taliban took credit for at least two attacks on Abdullah’s team in Herat and Sar-e Pol provinces.

Speaking to Al Jazeera last month, Medecins Sans Frontieres, said using medical facilities for polling and registration centres could further hinder access to healthcare.

The Taliban also threatened to attack the 2009 polls, which were marked by accusations of corruption on all sides. That election saw 73 violent incidents across 15 of the country's 34 provinces.

The Independent Election Commission reported 35 percent of registered voters turned out for the 2009 polls despite the threats.

485

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.