Unity govt no longer legitimate, says Ahadi
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan New National Front party (ANNF) on Tuesday supported setting an Oct 15 date for parliamentary and district council elections, but called for fresh presidential election on the same date.
ANNF chief Anwarul Haq Ahadi told a news conference in Kabul that the government was responsible for delaying the election process.
The Afghan Constitution demands elections to the Wolesi Jirga or lower house through free, general, secret and direct balloting.
The parliamentary elections were due in April or May after the sitting parliament completed its five year’s term on June 22, but the elections could not be held for a lack of funds.
Subsequently, President Ashraf Ghani extended the parliament tenure through a presidential decree until fresh elections are held.
Ahadi said his party supported transparent elections as fraudulent elections could not represent people’s votes and might lead to political crisis.
He criticised the Independent Election Commission (IEC)’s performance and said: “People should know how the IEC will conduct a transparent election when we have no good experience from the commission’s past performance.”
He said fraudulent elections in 2014 conducted by the IEC had brought Afghanistan on the brink of a new civil war.
“It is responsibility of the IEC to predict and define possible fraud in elections and assure people of transparency in the process,” Ahadi said.
He said the IEC had so far taken no step that could ensure clean elections. He worried the process would face the same fate as in 2014.
He added fraudulent elections could lead the country to a serious instability.
Ahadi said his party would support elections if the two electoral bodies took effective measures towards reforming the electoral regime.
“We suggest that both parliamentary and presidential elections should be conducted the same time because the national unity government is no longer credible,” he said.
Days ago, President Ghani announced his government was ready to hold parliamentary and district council elections between summer and fall.
The IEC on Monday said it had set an Oct 15 date for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections.
The IEC had apparently not coordinated the election schedule with the unity government.
Reacting to the announcement, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah told a Cabinet meeting that the coming elections should be conducted by a new election commission.
“Election reform is an important issue that we have been discussing daily. The Afghans are still concerned at the flawed management of the previous elections,” the CEO said on Monday.
The electoral reform, a major component of the unity government deal, has turned out to be a new challenge for the incumbent leaders.
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