Dead among Kandahar PC seat winners
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Two dead men -- Hashmat Khalil Karzai and Khan Mohammad Afghan are on the list of successful candidates for the Kandahar provincial council (PC).
Khalil Karzai, who was assassinated in a suicide bombing at his residence in Dand district on Eid day, secured 11,818 votes. Shot dead by police in Kandahar City on June 28, Afghan won 8325 ballots.
Under the Constitution, in the event of a successful candidate’s death, the runner-up will be notified as winner. But despite their passing, the two men remain on the list.
Independent Election Commission official Najib Achakzai agreed the deceased runners’ names should have been excised from the list under the law.
Speaking exclusively to Pajhwok Afghan News, Achakzai referred to Article 31 of the Election Law. In line with Clause 2, if a candidate cannot occupy his/her seat or by any reason leaves it during the provincial council’s tenure, the next most vote winner of the same gender will be awarded the seat.
In previous instances, the IEC official explained, seats thus vacated had gone to winners’ relatives. But the practice was in conflict with the law, he acknowledged, stressing reelection/replacement had to be based on merit.
But Kandahar PC member Haji Agha Lalai Dastgiri said the law was applicable only when a candidate died a natural death. In accordance with a Cabinet decision, if a public representative is assassinated, his/her seat will remain vacant.
In this context, he recalled the killings of Nangarhar PC members Sitara Achakzai, Mohammad Younas Hussaini and Ahmad Wali Karzai. Their seats were kept vacant till the council tenure expired.
Resident Haji Gul Ahmad opined a vacant seat should go to the runner-up. If the law is followed in letter and spirit, he argued, the public would not be deprived of representation on the council.
Some 80 individuals, including eight women and some 20 percent youth, were in the run for the 19-member council, which previously had 15 members. Six of the members have to be women.
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