Govt Urged To Kick Start Selection Committee's Work

Members of the Election Commission’s Selection Committee said on Tuesday that despite the nation having waited for well over a year for reforms, the government has still not taken action in this regard.

Naeem Ayubzada, a member of the selection committee, voiced his concerns that elections and reforms will continue to be an issue and delay electoral reforms further.

He said only government can give the orders for the selection committee to start work.

“To hold the elections, there is much work that needs to be done. It will take time and people’s concerns are also legitimate. The [selection] committee should begin its work soon. A new election commission should have enough time to prepare a voters list. I, as someone who has worked for five months, days and nights, to send recommendations on electoral reforms to the president, urge the president to speed up the process,” said Shah Sultan Akefi, head of the Special Electoral Reforms Commission.

Fazel Ahmad Manavi, former head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), meanwhile questioned government’s resolve in bringing about reforms.

“I am not confident that reforms will be brought. The government does not have the strong political will to bring about electoral reforms,” he said.

Manavi said that government is taking these steps under public and donor pressure.

According to a political agreement signed between President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah when establishing the National Unity Government (NUG), government is required to bring about electoral reforms.

However, the first presidential decree on electoral reforms was rejected by parliament.

The president then signed another decree on electoral reforms. However, no practical steps in this regard have been taken so far.

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