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Govt rejects IEC authority to set election date

Govt rejects IEC authority to set election date

Jun 16, 2016 - 17:26

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Presidential Palace on Thursday said the incumbent Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) was not mandated to set a date for elections until new commissioners were introduced.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, deputy spokesperson to the president, told a press conference here that the government awaited the parliament to take a step forward and participate in speeding up the election process.   

Regarding the rejection of the presidential decree by the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon (lower house), he said it was an unfortunate move and a retreat from the electoral reform process.

He said the decree rejection could not delay the election process as the government was mulling various options to hold parliamentary polls.

“The government is considering various options to hold the elections and the options are currently being discussed with political parties, experts and civil societyinfo-icon institutes.”

Murtazawi said the selection committee, tasked with nominating election commissioners, would immediately launch its work selecting new commissioners on the electoral bodies if the presidential decree’s fate was cleared.

About yesterday’s announcement by the IEC setting an Oct. 15 date for holding the parliamentary and district council election, the presidential spokesman said the IEC would have the authority to announce a date after new commissioners were selected.

In a statement, the IEC on Wednesday said it announced Oct 15, 2016 date for holding elections to Wolesi Jirga and district councils because “the Constitution says the commission should inform people about a date 120 days before going to polls.”

Murtazawi denied allegations that the government didn’t want to hold elections and said the government has created a security committee to evaluate security situation across the country and a finance committee to find financial resources for elections as part of fundamental works.



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