The Election Reform Commission (ERC) and election monitoring groups on Saturday slammed the National Unity Government for its continued reluctance to implement the reform process in the election law.
They said that no body or individual is allowed to justify continued obstructions in the way of the reform process.
With government leaders exasperated with political strife and security threats, concerns however have also deepened among critics and monitoring groups over the continued delay in the reform process, a process which is an important factor in the political agreement signed between President Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah in the wake of the controversial elections in 2014.
While calls for the implementation of reforms in the electoral laws gathers fresh momentum, monitoring groups have also blasted Afghan legislators for not taking into consideration the discussions over Ghani’s legislative decree on election reforms dispatched to the parliament months ago.
“Any issue including peace, political or security can justify delaying the reform process in the election system. The government gets its credibility from the elections,” ERC spokesman Naeem Ayoubzada said.
“Still the government leaders do not have serious commitment to implement reforms in the election system. Otherwise, the reform process should have been completed by now,” MP Ahmad Behzad said.
Joining the critics and monitoring groups, meanwhile, Shah Sultan Akefi, the head of ERC has also expressed deep concerns over the government’s lack of commitment to step up efforts and implement the reform process.
“The political and security issues have left an impact on all spheres including the election reform process, we hope that the government leaders, in line with their promises, raise the reform process into their top working agenda,” ERC chief Akefi said.
But the Afghan government, despite making repeated pledges for reforms in the past, still insists that the NUG is committed to the reform agenda.
“There is no more obstructions in the way of the electoral reform process, the selection committee will start its job in the near future and new members of the election commissions will be designated,” Jawed Faisal, spokesman for CEO Abdullah Abdullah said.
The second draft of the presidential legislative decree on electoral reforms was dispatched to parliament for approval months ago, but many in the country hope that parliament will finalize it swiftly in a bid to help ERC initiate its job.