MPs differ on conditions for poll candidates
Article 10 of the proposed law, having 17 chapters and 66 articles, states a candidate for the presidency should have a bachelor’s degree. Article 11, Wolesi Jirga candidates must be 12th graders and former members of the parliament.
Article 15 requires provincial and district council contenders to be 12th graders, explained the lower house legislative commission head, Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi. The commission endorsed the conditions.
As some lawmakers said the proposals were in clash with Article 33 of the constitution, which imposed no candidacy conditions, others argued there was no such conflict.
Article 33 of the constitution says: ”The citizens of Afghanistan shall have the right to elect and be elected. The conditions of exercising this right shall be regulated by law.”
After a long debate, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the opinion of the Constitutional Oversight Commission would be sought on the issue before the house took any decision on it.
Last month, the Wolesi Jirga authorised the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to announce final poll results, recommending the creation of a polling centre in each province of the country’s 35 provinces.
The draft election law was referred for debate and approval to the lower house in December 2012. The house has already approved some important articles concerning the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system and ballot counts at voting centres.
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