IEC Close To Submitting Proposed Election Date

election 12september

As discontent continues between the Electoral Reform Commission (ERC) and Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) over reform packages, an IEC official said Saturday that the election management body was getting close to announcing a proposed date for the nation’s parliamentary elections.

Speaking to TOLOnews, Aziz Bakhtyari, an IEC commissioner said that the commission was preparing to submit a proposal containing the date for parliamentary elections to President Asharf Ghani within two days.

“We will dispatch recommendations to the president to see if they {presidential palace} are ready to hold the election and to seek their cooperation so that the commission is able to announce the date for parliamentary elections,” Aziz Bakhtyari said.

The statement comes a week after Ghani approved seven out of eleven proposals recommended by the ERC to consider crucial reforms in the election system. However, the presidential order so far has not reached the IEC.

“Unfortunately, such irregularities exist in all aspects of the government despite the fact that election issue is one of the important issues of the country. Even a presidential decree doesn’t reach its targeted place within two weeks,” he said.

Reacting to the IEC announcement, some Afghan election monitoring institutions have disputed the announcement and say that the date for parliamentary elections should be announced on the bases of electoral reforms.

“This causes some sort of confusion, it also damages the process of confidence building measures and reform processes,” chairman of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan, Mohammad Naeem Ayoubzada said.

Meanwhile, the presidential palace has reiterated that government is committed to the implementation of key reforms in the election law before holding parliamentary elections.

“There is need to consider a series of technical measures before the selection commission starts its job, works are underway on it. What the presidential order stresses upon is that the committee starts its job as soon as possible, because president of Afghanistan has insisted necessary reforms to be implemented and the commission’s job constitutes one of the principles,” deputy presidential spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said.

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