FEFA survey stresses tangible electoral reforms
KABUL (Pajhwok): A recent survey conducted by the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) while stressing upon electoral reforms said that insecurity and partial stance of election commissions’ employees would be among major challenges in upcoming parliamentary election.
As many as 125 Wolesi Jirga members, including 41 women lawmakers, had been interviewed in the FEFA conducted survey. Almost all the lawmakers underlined the need for tangible reforms in ballot system.
It explained reforms should help conducting transparent election, strengthening of political parties, explaining punishment for those committing rigging in the ballot, controlling of financial assistance of individuals and candidates, specification of powers and responsibilities of election commission chiefs and secretary.
In addition, the inclusion of two foreigners in Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) as an observers and identification of election commission employees’ salaries and privileges in election law were other areas stressed upon in the survey for reforms of electoral system.
Around 69 percent of Wolesi Jirga members who were interviewed announced to take part in parliamentary election, but expressed their concern over irregularities in election commissions, influence of powerful individuals and lack of ballot papers on Election Day.
The survey urged for effective role of civil society, government, lawmakers and electoral bodies in the Wolesi Jirga election.
Some 42 percent people demanded flexibility in nomination conditions, while 54 percent others demanded the election commissions should announce final results of election in a joint press conference.
The survey showed that 64 percent of lawmakers demanded members of election commissions to get vote of confidence from Wolesi Jirga, while 50 percent had asked the Presidential Palace to sack members of electoral commissions and officials of greater credibility.
Mohammad Yousuf Rashid, FEFA executive director, said the survey said the interviewees favoured reforms the electoral system and early preparation for parliamentary polls.
He said reforms of election commission were a gigantic task and the incumbent government had a good opportunity to rehabilitate the voting system in the country.
He said the government was not serious to tackle some issues including reforms in election commission.
Earlier, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had issued a decree for constituting a long-awaited electoral reform commission that met a key condition in the power-sharing agreement.
The panel would suggest reforms in the electoral system, ways of improving democratic norms, restoring public trust in government institutions and respect for rule of law, the Presidential Palace had said.
In a statement the palace said, commission would be led by Wolesi Jirga member Shukria Barakzai while Saddiqullah Tawhidi has been appointed as deputy head of the commission.
Ali Amiri, Abdul Qadir Qaryab, Bashir Farooq, Dr. Mohammad Amin Ahmadi, Faizullah Zaki, Kawoon Kakar, Sabrina Saqib, Gul Ahmad Madadzai and Azizullah Rafiyee, Justice Ministry representative Abdul Majid Ghanizada, UN official Tadamichi Yamoto are its members.
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