New IEC mindful of past mistakes: Hotaki
KABUL (PAN): Deputy Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief Abdul Rahman Hotaki on Wednesday said the new members would take lessons from mistakes in the previous elections to ensure the upcoming ballot took place in a better way.
Hotaki and Dr. Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani were elected respectively as IEC deputy chief and chairman on Saturday. Nuristani defeated Sareer Ahmad Barmak while Hotaki outpolled Qazi Suleman Hamid.
They replace Fazal Ahmad Manawi and Abdul Khaliq Hussaini. Gulalai Achakzai was elected as IEC secretary.
During an interview, Hotaki told Pajhwok Afghan News foolproof security was required to supplement the new members’ efforts at achieving the goal of free and fair elections and paving the ground for political parties and people to take part in the democratic exercise.
He called as vital allowing civil society and political patties to monitor the election process for a credible vote.
“If there is no such cooperation, we should not expect a miracle from the IEC,” he said, explaining the election body alone would not be able to ensure free, transparent and credible elections in the absence of cooperation on the part of political parties and civil society groups.
He said the election commission was technically and financially ready to hold the April 5 elections.
To a question about any difference in the new and previous election commission members, Hotaki said: “I would not comment on the previous team. But the new team is a composition of individuals who were either part of the election commission or served as advisers to it. They had a proactive role in the previous elections. Keeping in view the new team and the past mistakes, I think the upcoming elections would be better.”
Hotaki said the election commission was working on a mechanism to prevent irregularities in the elections like misuse of voter cards and the removal of ink from thumbs.
He said the elections should take place at any cost in order to have a credible future government, saying the commission would try to ensure the elections took place as scheduled across the nation. He said people in insecure areas could go to the nearest polling centres to cast their votes.
About his ambitions behind joining the IEC, Hotaki said he had been an active civil society activist over the past 13 years and had a proactive role in the previous elections. “I am confident to perform my duty with devotion and honesty.”
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