ERC sees no reason to defer selection body launch
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Election Reform Commission (ERC) on Saturday said launching work by the selection committee, a proposed body to nominate members of the two electoral bodies, “is an essential part of reforming the country’s electoral system.”
Addressing members of political parties and civil society groups, ERC chief Shah Sultan Akefi said the delay in starting work by the selection committee was raising questions about the incumbent government’s legitimacy.
He said the ERC was discharging its responsibilities in consultations with different stakeholders.
According to him, their consultations with people from different walks of life showed people wished a more transparent and simple electoral system that empowered political parties.
He said one of their recommendations was about switching to the Single Non-Transferrable Vote Proportional Representation SNTV+PR system from the Single Non-Transferrable Vote (SNTV).
He explained the ERC had done much research to introduce the reform package to the government, adding that Multi Dimensional Representation System (MDRS) was another system to conduct elections and their commission was working on it.
Sadiqullah Tawhidi, ERC deputy chief, also stressed the selection committee should be launched to introduce new commissioners.
He saw no need to delay the selection committee’s work, saying the Administrative Affairs Department at the Presidential Palace had prepared a decree regarding the launch of the selection committee’s work. He said the decree was not needed because a law had already been approved by the president in this regard.
He supported the ERC chief’s arguments, saying the government’s legitimacy was questionable because the Wolesi Jirga’s tenure had already expired and fresh parliamentary elections should be called.
He said the ERC was hopeful that the government would materialise its promise by implementing the reform agenda and conducting elections to the Wolesi Jirga and district councils soon.
The selection committee would evaluate applications for membership of the electoral bodies and then introduce 21 candidates as members of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and 15 as members of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to the president.
Out of these candidates, the president would select seven members for the IEC and five members for the IECC. The incumbent IEC and IECC members maintain their removal would be against the law.
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