Abdullah calls for independent poll panel
KABUL (PAN): The election commission and the judiciary have to be independent and international observers should be allowed to monitor the 2014 presidential vote, a key opposition leader said on Thursday.
Afghans wanted an independent poll panel that was committed to ensuring transparency in the election, former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah told a gathering in Kabul.
"There is need for reforms in the electoral process to assure the people that the election will be transparent," said the leader of the National Coalition of Afghanistan.
Abdullah's remarks came day after President Hamid Karzai told members of Independent Election Commission (IEC) that Afghans needed a strong poll panel and independent judicial organs.
Karzai and the IEC officials discussed preparations for the presidential ballot and exchanged views on the irregularities, mistakes and interference of outsiders in the 2009 election.
In his speech, Abdullah denounced the current judicial system as illegitimate, because it received guidance from high-ranking government officials. "We want an independent judiciary."
Insisting on the role of the United Nations and other international organisations in monitoring the election, he said: "In this way, we can have a fairer election than we have had in the past."
On March 28, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan promised the world body would play a proactive role in the 2014 election to ensure its fairness.
The UN would provide technical support for the poll, monitor the electoral process and work on capacity building of IEC staff, Jan Kubis told a news conference in Kabul.
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