President urged to specify parliamentary polls’ date
KABUL (Pajhwok): Election watchdog organizations on Saturday welcomed President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s decision to allow Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament to work till fresh elections were held.
They, however, said that president should have specified the exact date of upcoming parliamentary election besides extension of the incumbent house.
Earlier, Ghani said the sitting Wolesi Jirga would continue until date for parliamentary elections were announced after one month.
A statement from Presidential Palace said that technical, security, financial and other problems led to delay in conducting Wolesi Jirga elections.
The statement said it was decided the incumbent Wolesi Jirga would continue work keeping in view the current problems and challenges.
It said that the government was committed to announce date for the crucial ballot within one month.
According to Article 83 of the Constitution, new Wolesi Jirga members should start work on June 22. The article adds election for the lower house should be held one or two months ahead of the expiry of the parliament term.
Naeem Ayubzada, head of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), said the president should have taken the decision after June 22.
Regarding legality of the decision, he said if the president consulted on the issue with judges than it could not be termed as illegal.
Painda Hikmat, member of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), welcome president’s decision regarding fate of Wolesi Jirga and said the president provided legality to a strong institution of the country.
He also stressed over announcement of election date in order to remove confusion and suspicion.
But Khat-i-Naw in a statement expressed concerns over the president’s decision and demanded the declaration of election date.
The statement added the government should first create the electoral reform commission to and introduce necessary reforms to the system and assure the civil society organization about the conduct of free and fair polls.
It said the government should have consulted about the fate of WJ with heads of main government institutions, national leaders and civil society organizations.
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