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IEC seeks financial support to ensure timely polls

IEC seeks financial support to ensure timely polls

May 18, 2015 - 17:18

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Chairman of the Independent Elections Commission (IECinfo-icon) on Monday pledged to hold parliament elections without further delay if provided with financial support.

Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani said the IEC had taken necessary steps, but alleged other organizations and presidential office had shortcomings.

He addressed a general session of the lower house on parliamentary elections amid protests from some lawmakers.

Ahmad Shah Ramazan, a lawmaker from Balkh province, said thanks to last year’s presidential elections a democratic process has been tarnished and people have lost trust over the commission.

 “The election commission has caused all the miseries in the country,” he said.

Shukria Barakzai, another MP, said in line with laws the commission had responsibility to hold elections on time and the chairman of the commission should be allowed to speak in the house.

Nuristani said: “Technically we’re prepared to hold parliamentary elections, but other relevant departments exempt themselves of responsibility.”

He did not specifically name any organizations, but said: “The election commission had sent two plans to Presidential Palace, but no step has been taken so far.”

He added at least $80 million fund needed for parliamentary ballot and the international community would pay that on condition of reforms in poll panels.

“Inspection of the second round of presidential elections took most of our time which was in vain,” he said, adding that lack of funds, reforms, and strong political will were major impediments on way of elections to be hold on time.

“The commission announced the schedule for parliamentary elections that was supposed to be held last month but the government did not take any step,” he continued.

According to Nuristani, if they were provided with financial means they would hold elections within five to six months.

Haji Zahir Qadir, deputy speaker, said: “We, the members of the lower house are prepared for elections to be held.”


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