Balkh residents call for cleaning up poll bodies
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The residents of northern Balkh province on Monday said transparent future elections needed drastic reforms in the electoral bodies.
They were speaking at a consultative gathering with officials of the Electoral Reform Commission in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital.
Saleh Mohammad Registani, a member of the reform commission, told Pajhwok Afghan News on the sidelines of the gathering that members of their commission had started holding consultative meetings with people in provinces.
The consultations were aimed at recoding views of civil society activists, the youth, tribal elders, provincial council and parliament members on how to bring about inclusive reforms to the electoral system, he added.
He said the reform commission’s primary task was to bring introduce changes to the election law and the composition of the two electoral bodies.
Prior to a decision in this regard, he said, the commission wanted to record people’s views.
Lawmaker Haji Mohammad Obda, who attended the gathering, told Pajhwok Afghan News the creation of the electoral reform commission by the government was commendable.
He said the job of the panel would be acceptable if it was able to bring about positive changes to the election law and the composition and authority of the electoral bodies.
He said people had lost faith in the electoral bodies and the reform commission had been tasked with restoring that trust.
Obda said changes to the electoral system should be brought keeping in view the country’s current situation. He said utmost care should be exercised in the appointment of commissioners on the electoral bodies.
Balkh University teacher Mohammad Nazari said holding consultative meetings with the public regarding reforms in the electoral system was a positive step.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News elections were often marred by lack of understanding of the technical and political process. He said no elections in the past had matched the country’s situation, something that needed greater attention as part of reform.
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