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Media role in electoral reforms stressed

Media role in electoral reforms stressed

Apr 24, 2012 - 21:45

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Free and Fair Election Foundation for Afghanistaninfo-icon (FEFA) on Tuesday urged media outlets to play their important role in persuading decision-makers to bring reforms into the country’s electoral laws and composition of the election body.

FEFA head Jandad Spinghar told a gathering in Kabul that the Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (AIEC) had been in such problems which marred elections’ credibility.

He warned the country could face new challenges if its electoral law was not revised and reviewed by the parliament.

He added the Afghan electoral law was very basic which needed major amendments to clarify impartial election commission members and their area of authorisation and professionalism.

Stressing the need for reviewing the electoral laws before being approved by parliament, Spinghar said the current law made by the election commission was a primary draft.

He said media could play a greater role in pressing for reforms in the commission and the electoral laws, calling for a joint campaign of media organisations to achieve the desired goals and change people’s mind in this regard.

He said reforms were imperative because previous elections were marred by massive rigging and irregularities.

He said reforms were needed in conditions for candidature, the electoral system, complaint procedures and preventing the misuse of government resources by candidates during electioneering.

A spokesman for the election commission, Noor Mohammad Noor, acknowledged the commission and the electoral laws had some problems.

He said the suggestions floated at the meeting would be considered by the commission and that they were ready for all kind of cooperation in brining improvement to the system.

He revealed a draft of amendments to the election law had been finalised and would be sent to the Parliament for approval soon.

He also said previous experiences showed some amendments were needed in the electoral law. “It will be sent to the Parliament for approval after the necessary amendments are made," Noor said.

Meanwhile, the head of Afghanistan's media watchdog welcomed FEFA's suggestions and said the role of media was vital in removing election challenges.



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