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Nuristani seeks reforms in all institutions

Nuristani seeks reforms in all institutions

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Nov 05, 2014 - 21:10

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) chairman on Wednesday said the Parliament had no authority to refer him to the Attorney-General Office (AGO) for prosecution.   

Earlier in the day, the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon asked the president to explain why top officials of the two electoral commissions had refused to brief lawmakers on allegations of widespread fraud in provincial council polls.

The lower house expressed its displeasure over the negative response to summons from the top officials of IEC and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC). It decided to refer erring election bosses to AGO.

IEC Deputy Chairman Abdur Rahman Hotaki appeared before parliamentarians and offered to answer their queries on the hot issue. However, the legislators said he was not the right person to brief them.

As the chairmen of the electoral bodies stayed away, the lawmakers unanimously demanded amendments to the law on the commissions’ composition and duties so as to curtail the tenure of commissioners.

But IEC head Yousaf Nuristani, commenting on move, insisted: "Under the law, the legislature doesn't have the power to call election authorities. Similar, the assembly can neither seek the commissioners' removal nor refer them to AGO."   

Without naming anyone, he claimed several parliamentarians had been involved in electoral fraud and corruption. They should be investigated by the judiciary, the IEC chairman believed.

Speaking exclusively to Pajhwok Afghan News, Nuristani said he welcomed reforms in the poll panel. In the same breath, however, he demanded reforms in all institutions, including the parliament.

The IEC chief said preparations for next year's parliamentary polls were going on satisfactorily. He indicated necessary timelines for the electoral process would be announced next week. Donors countries and organisations were ready for funding the elections.

mud

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