PC members remain divided on board elections
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Members of the provincial council of southeastern Khost have been unable so far to resolve their differences over the administrative board’s election.
Voting to elect a senatorial candidate to represent Khost in the Meshrano Jirga has been postponed four times, according to Abdul Rahman Mohabat, the provincial Independent Election Commission (IEC) office head.
He said elections for the Senate representative and the board could not be held due to differences among the council members.
He said the IEC had set Sunday last a deadline for the council to hold the elections, but the voting was deferred until Wednesday due to incomplete quorum, but again the voting did not take place for the same reason.
Mohabat said the IEC headquarters in Kabul had recommended postponement of the elections for an indefinite time.
“As a last resort, President Ashraf Ghani has appointed a delegation to resolve the issue. But if the delegation too fails to resolve it; then absent council members will be replaced with their runners up in the April provincial council elections.”
The 15-member Khost council has been split into two groups having eight and seven members respectively.
One of the council members, Shukrullah Babkarkhel, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the seven-member group was not appearing to participate in the election because they knew it would not benefit them.
But a member of the second group, Abdul Wali Wahidzai, said some members of the other group had been involved in irregularities, a reason he cited for their reluctance to attend the voting.
“In the group, a female member, Hakmina Matlaq, is illiterate. Her participation in the elections had discredited the vote’s legitimacy. If Hakmina is removed from the list, we are ready even right now to participate in the administration board election.”
But Hakmina rejected the allegation, saying the period to submit complaints had gone and that her documents had thoroughly been examined in the stipulated time and they had no problem.
“They offered me money to join their group, but I refused. Now they are trying to prove I have committed fraud.”
She claimed to have completed her 12th grade education in Peshawar when her family lived there as refugees.
To a question if the Education Ministry had assessed her documents on return from Peshawar, she said there had been no such condition that time.
The IEC official, Mohabat, said Hakmina’s documents had been investigated. He said it was being said the IEC was investigating documents of some provincial council members, but he had no exact information.
A Khost resident, Haji Gul Sherin, told Pajhwok Afghan News the differences among the provincial council members were based on personal interest.
“I swear these members have no concern for people. They have come through fraud and are trying how to reach a higher position.”
Two days ago, a number of civil society members held a gathering in Khost and warned they would close the council’s office if the administration board election was not held in accordance with the law.
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