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Decrees rejection damaging electoral reform process: ACSEN

Decrees rejection damaging electoral reform process: ACSEN

Dec 29, 2015 - 18:36

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Afghan Civil Societyinfo-icon Election Network (ACSEN) on Tuesday said sending presidential decrees about electoral reforms to the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon for approval was against the Constitution.

The network said the rejection of presidential decrees about electoral reforms by the lower house was damaging the electoral reform process.

The Wolesi Jirga has recently rejected a number of presidential decrees about electoral reforms including one amending the law on responsibilities and composition of the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

ACSEN said referring presidential decrees about election reforms to the Wolesi Jirga was against Article 109 of the Constitution. It said the rejection of decrees by the Wolesi Jirga meant that lawmakers did not want reforms in the electoral regime.

Shakila Barakzai, a senior member of ACSEN, told a news conference here that the contents of presidential decrees had no legal problems but referring them to the lower house for approval was against the law.

Based on Article 109 of the Constitution, proposals for amending electoral law shall not be included in the agenda of parliament during the last year of the legislative term.

“We request the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon to review presidential decrees about electoral reforms and decide based on national interests,” she said.

ACSEN asked the president to approach the Supreme Court about the Article 109 of the Constitution to clarify whether the Wolesi Jirga could amend the electoral law in its last year of legislative term.

ACSEN stressed the reform process should continue and said the selection committee should continue its work and provide a list of nominees as commissioners on the two electoral bodies until the fate of the presidential decrees became clear.

Sughra Saadat, a member of ACSEN, said the selection committee’s performance had slowed after the Wolesi Jirga rejected presidential decrees.

She said delaying the selection committee work could leave negative impact on electoral reform and parliamentary elections.

The selection committee started its work two weeks ago and so far the body has held only two meetings.

Also on Tuesday, the Fikar wa Amal Jirgainfo-icon asked the government to dissolve the selection committee and announce dates for holding parliamentary and district council elections.

Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani announced that the long due parliamentary and district council elections would be held next year.



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