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Govt failing to reform electoral regime: Watchdog

Govt failing to reform electoral regime: Watchdog

Mar 30, 2016 - 20:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistaninfo-icon (FEFA) on Wednesday said the government was failing to reform the electoral system due to differences between its leaders.

FEFA chief executive Mohammad Yousuf Rashid told a press conference here that the government had been unable to bring about reforms to the electoral regime over the past one and a half years.

He claimed the differences between the unity government leaders benefited those who were against the electoral reforms.

Personal, group and party interests were another reason behind failed elections, he said, adding the government could not give a timeframe for electoral reforms.

“Our concern is that activities of the electoral reform commission have entered a stage where reforms cannot be enforced,” he said, claiming the government had lost the opportunity to get assistance for preparing voter lists.

The FEFA official suggested the government leaders should shun internal feuds and work for reforming the electoral regime and block interference from political parties in the selection committee’s activities.

Media advisor to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hashmat Radfar, told the same press conference that a waste of time, delays and failures in electoral reforms could not be acceptable.

“I can say the government could not bring about as much reforms as the Afghans expected during the past one and a half years,” he said.

“Until we don’t amend the Constitution, change the government system and until we don’t enforce each condition of the unity government agreement, we are not committed to the electoral reforms,” he said.

A Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon member Haji Mohammad Abduho said all Afghans were demanding free and transparent elections to have a legitimate government.

“If there are no elections, we would have no president, no parliament and no provincial and district councils. So elections are a requirement and the government should provide all facilities for holding elections,” he said.

Providing a full list of voters, distribution of e-ID cards, ensuring security, achieving people’s trust, bringing reforms in the election system and the international community’s willingness to finance the election process are the foreground for the election process, he said.

Meanwhile, former Electoral Reform Commission (ERC) head, Shah Sultan Akifi, said it was the selection committee’s responsibility to provide the list of eligible candidates as members-designate of the election bodies.

He said the ERC would take fundamental steps to enforce the election law and facilitate holding Wolesi Jirga and district council elections.

The formation of the selection committee had been approved by both the president and the CEO and it would start work in the near future, Akifi said.

Zarqa Yaftali, speaking on behalf of the selection committee, said the committee was scheduled to start its operations during the ongoing week, but due to some problems, its launch of work was delayed for next week.

He said the endorsement of the second legislative decree had paved the ground for the committee to resume its operations.

The Article 79 of the Constitution says “During parliament recess, the government shall, in case of an immediate need, issue legislative decrees. Legislative decrees, after endorsement by the president, shall acquire the parliament approval.”



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