Civil society given a week to name rep
KABUL (PAN): Members of the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) would be nominated and referred to the president for approval within a week even if civil society did not name its representative, a selection committee said on Sunday.
Nine Independent Election Commission members, named by the body, have already been approved by President Hamid Karzai in line with a new election law, which was passed in mid-July by a joint commission of both houses of parliament.
The committee includes parliamentary speakers, the chief justice, civil society representatives, human rights campaigners and other officials. Due to differences, civil society groups have not yet named their representative for the committee, which jerked into action in late June.
The IEC is comprised of Abdur Rahman Hotaki, Gulalai Achakzai, Sharifa Zurmati, Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani, Sareer Ahmad Barmak, Laila Ihrari, Qazi Suleman Hamid, Mohammad Aziz Bakhtiari and Mohammad Hussain Garziwani.
Senate Chairman Abdul Hadi Muslimyar, also a spokesman for the selection committee, told journalists in Kabul on Sunday the body held its maiden meeting today on nominations for ECC. Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi was chosen as committee head.
Eligible candidates could submit applications for ECC membership till Saturday, Muslimyar said, adding the applicants must be graduates, with Afghan citizenship and good reputations. The wannabes should be older than 30 years, with no affiliations with political parties or involvement in human rights violations.
Under the relevant law, the committee has to introduce 15 people for ECC memberships to the president, who will appoint five of them.
Different civil society groups have referred three representatives instead of one to the committee, according to the Senate chairman, who urged the activists to finalise their nominee in a week's time.
"Even if the deadline isn't met, the committee will embark on work without waiting for anyone. We will take consensus decisions; we are responsible to the people, not to a handful of contractors," he remarked.
Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) chief Mohammad Naeem Ayubzada, who was twice named as civil society representative, asked the working committee to finalise its nominee for the selection body.
Nader Naderi, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) head, is a second civil society nominee for the selection committee.
"As Naderi refused to withdraw his candidacy, civil society groups have once again nominated me for the slot," said Ayubzada, who offered to opt out of the race if the FEFA chief also pulled out and a woman was named instead of them.
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