Election Observer organizations have expressed concern that the Electoral Reform Commission’s selection committee has not yet started work and that the delay will negatively affect the parliamentary election process.
President Ashraf Ghani signed a special decree just over a week ago approving seven of the 11 reform proposals submitted by the ERC.
In the decree, Ghani praised the work of the ERC and fully approved the proposals submitted in relation to the first phase of work, which is the short-term process.
However, despite the president’s approval, work by the committee has not yet started and no further information has been revealed in terms of appointing new commissioners.
“The delay in implementing the ERC recommendations on electoral reforms will decrease people’s trust in this process and will pave the way for misuse in this regard,” the director of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), Jandad Spinghar said.
Meanwhile, the executive director of FEFA, Mohammad Yusuf Rasheed, said: “I believe that the draft is not a complete one and its implementation will create confusion both among electoral bodies and among the general masses, but despite this we appreciate the ERC’s struggles.”
According to the President’s decree, the work by the committee will be overseen by the office of the CEO. However, no work has as yet been done.
The office of the Chief Executive Officer recently said that they will not accept any delays in the implementation of the ERC recommendations on electoral reforms.
Touching on the issue, the deputy spokesman for the CEO said: “Work has been started in this regard and is going quickly.”
He added: “We are monitoring the process carefully and the committee will start its work in the near future.”
The CEO’s office has also said that the date for parliamentary elections will be announced by the new commissioners.
“Setting a schedule for parliamentary elections will not be the task of the current IEC leadership; this task will be done after bringing reforms in the electoral bodies or by the new IEC leadership,” Faisal told TOLOnews.
The ERC is however adamant that reforms have to be brought to the election commission and said the presidential decree needs to be adhered to.