Abdullah hits out at changes in poll panel
KABUL (PAN): The newly formed Afghanistan National Coalition on Sunday called changes by President Hamid Karzai in composition of the election commission and the human rights body as a step towards helping his relatives and aides remain in power.
Karzai on Sunday granted extension to two Independent Election Commission (IEC) members -- Momina Yari and Mohammad Hussain Garziwani -- and replaced Ayub Asil, Mastura Stanikzai and Suleman Hamid, who completed their terms.
The three new commissioners are Mohammad Hashim Faulad, Rida Azimi and Ghulam Dastagir Azad. IEC chief, Fazal Ahmad Manawi, and member Abdul Khaliq Pashayee are yet to complete their terms.
The president also refused to extend tenures of three top members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC) -- Nader Naderi, Fahim Hakim and Maulvi Ghulam Mohammad Gharib.
In an exclusive talk with Pajhwok Afghan News, Afghanistan National Coalition chief, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, alleged Karzai's decision was meant to help his relatives and aides to stay in positions of authority.
"Why is the president reluctant to not take a decision on the fate of the chief justice, whose tenure has also expired, and acting ministers in his Cabinet?" the former foreign minister asked.
Abdullah suggested amendments to the election law, saying IEC members should receive a trust vote from the Wolesi Jirga. He added the trust vote should be given to those having Afghanistan's nationality.
He asked the government to evolve a clear mechanism for the peace campaign, which he said should be Afghan-led. He believed the drive would be meaningless until the government won people's confidence and tackled corruption.
Abdullah claimed the Afghan government was aware of the opening of Taliban's political office in Doha, but denied its establishment in public. He also blamed senior officials for using the peace effort for their own interests.
Abdullah urged the international community to exert pressure on Pakistan to stop providing assistance to the Taliban. However, he did not elaborate on the issue.
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