Electoral reforms panel illegal, says Muslimyar
KABUL (Pajhwok): Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar on Sunday said the newly-created electoral reforms commission was illegal and the national assembly would also have no legal status after late June if the parliamentary elections did not take place.
President Ashraf Ghani last month issued a decree ordering the creation of the electoral reforms commission and appointing lawmaker Shukria Barakzai as the panel’s head.
But the Chief Executive Officer Office has opposed Barakzai, a female lawmaker from Kabul, as the panel head and some other members, saying it had not been consulted on the appointments.
The formation of electoral reforms commission is part of the unity government deal reached between President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah after last year’s disputed presidential elections.
But Muslimyar told today’s session that there was no mention of such a commission in Afghanistan’s laws.
He said if the government wanted to introduce electoral reforms; it should form a commission of individuals chosen by the Selection Committee and who were not members of the election bodies.
Under the law on duties, authority and composition of the election commissions, the selection committee is composed of Senate chairman, lower house speaker, chief justice, civil society activists, chief of the commission overseeing the implementation of the constitution, the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission chief and members of the election commissions.
The selection commission had previously introduced 27 persons as members of the Independent Election Commission and 15 persons as members of the Electoral Complaints Commission to former president Hamid Karzai, who picked nine persons as members of the election panel and five persons as members of the watchdog.
Under Article 64 of the Constitution, the president has the authority to form commissions on administrative reforms.
Muslimyar said the Constitution stipulated the parliamentary elections to be held in June and the new parliament inaugurated in July.
However, he said if the elections did not take place as scheduled, the parliament would have no legal status after June 22.
He said the government was bound by the law to conduct the parliamentary elections on schedule. “People have no problem, they are ready to participate in the elections if the government paves the ground for them.”
Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish had announced few days ago that the parliamentary elections might be delayed for a year.
While the election commission chief had cited the lack of financial resources to hold the parliamentary elections on the stipulated time.
Muslimyar said due to differences between the president and the CEO, violations of the country’s laws had increased multiple times.
“Looking at the gravity of their rifts, we don’t understand when the elections will take place…a year after or 10 years after or never?”
He said laws in Afghanistan had always been violated by the country’s leaders and people had no role in that.
Earlier, presidential spokesman Ajmal Obaid Abidi had denied any differences between the president and the CEO.
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