EU special rep stresses inclusive electoral reforms
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Franz-Michael Mellbin said people were asking as to why electoral reforms had not taken place and the government had not initiated steps.
Mellbin stressed steps should be taken to resume electoral reforms, which were direly needed for stability of Afghanistan.
Electoral reforms were a major point of agreement between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah after formation of unity government.
In a presidential decree, electoral reforms commission was formed some three months back but it hasn’t officially resumed its mandated work. The delay in reforms has raised concerns among people, civil society organizations and international community.
“We also have this question from the Afghan government, especially when we meet the leaders. The Afghan people want to move forward and this should be respected. You should ask the president and CEO as to why they have delayed the reforms?” the EU special representative noted.
He hoped there were no specific reasons for the delay and insisted it was better to start the reforms process today than tomorrow.
The Presidential Palace, however, denied any differences between the president and CEO, saying the electoral reforms panel would start work this or next week.
Ambassador Mellbin said they were closely following developments about peace process in Afghanistan. He added it was the Afghan government, civil society, national assembly and political groups that had major role in the process. “We want coordination and defined roles for different groups based on which each group should play its part in the peace process.”
The president called peace building his top priority after taking office. But nine months on the unity government has not been able to have tangible achievements in this regard.
Taliban have reportedly shown a softer stance on peace and unofficial talks have taken place between the group and representatives of High Peace Council (HPC), civil society organizations and members of parliament, including women in Qatar, Norway and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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