Disabled Afghans demand facilitation in the polling process
Representatives of persons with disabilities have demanded the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to provide necessary facilities for the people with disabilities in the polling stations and make the polling stations accessible. They also asked the presidential runners to specify their agenda about them.
These demands were made during an advocacy meeting held by the Swedish Committee (SCA) for Afghanistan in Mazar-e-Sharif held by the Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disabilities (RAD) program of SCA.
Representatives of Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPO) from Balkh, Samangan and Jawzjan participated in the advocacy meeting. The objective of the meeting was to engage people with disabilities in the coming presidential and provincial council elections.
The Afghan presidential elections are scheduled to be held 5th of April next week.
Director of Afghanistan Human Rights in the north zone Qazi Sayed Mohammad Sameh read out the statement which demanded IEC to carry out their activities as per the electoral law article II, which call for facilitating participation of disabled individuals in the election process, and ensuring the polling station is accessible to the persons with disabilities. They also demanded preparation of election campaign and electoral education programs to be prepared in sign languages.
The representatives asked the media to publish articles about the rights of the persons with disabilities in their respective outlets and arrange roundtable discussion that should be attended by the representatives of the candidates to declare their plans for the persons with disabilities. Media should also prepare programs for the persons with disabilities so they can take part in the voting process, they demanded.
In another demand they asked the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) to implement the article 53 and 16 sub article 2 of the Afghan constitution.
The Afghan constitution in article 53 and 16 sub article 2 states: “The state shall adopt necessary measures to regulate medical services as well as financial aid to survivors of martyrs and missing persons, and for reintegration of the disabled and handicapped and their active participation in society in accordance with provisions of the law.
The state shall guarantee the rights of retirees, and shall render necessary aid to the elderly, women without caretaker, disabled and handicapped as well as poor orphans, in accordance with provisions of the law.”
The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the presidential candidates Dr. Zalmai Rasoul, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdul Rab Raosul Sayaf and Gul Agha Shirzai.
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