Akifi Meets With Senators to Discuss Electoral Reform

election-august-22

Members of the Electoral Reform Commission (ERC) on Saturday met with lawmakers in Parliament to discuss their plans for electoral reform.

Shah Sultan Akifi, the head of the ERC, told Senators that amendments in the election law and reformation of the electoral system would be their top priorities.

“The question is whether the electoral system is responsive or not,” Akifi said. “I think there are opportunities for bringing reforms to the electoral section.”

According to Akifi, a number of Ulema Council members around the country have also called for more female participation in provincial councils. Yet still security for the election remains the top concern among those the ERC has consulted with.

Meanwhile, Senators welcomed the ERC’s efforts, but cautioned that the result of the commission’s work will depend on the will of government leaders.

“There is a need for the National Unity Government (NUG) leaders’ will for the electoral reform,” Deputy Senate Speaker Mohammad Alam Izedyar said. “The commission should have the commitment of the leaders and what they are proposing they should implement.”

Senators called for specific reforms in regard to preparing voter lists, reviewing polling centers and voting cards, and the neutrality and accountability of the electoral commissions.

“In my opinion, the ID should be used as the voter card and if anyone has the ID they should go and vote otherwise they should not allow them to vote, ” Senator Faisal Sami said.

“The Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission should be non-political and created independently and should report on the last election,” Senator Izedyar said.

The ERC began the reform process more than a month ago. Members of the commission have visited seven provinces and have met with more than 2,000 people, including Jihadi leaders and Ulema Council members.

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