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Govt has failed to keep electoral reform promise: FEFA

Govt has failed to keep electoral reform promise: FEFA

Nov 27, 2015 - 12:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Free&Fair ElectionFoundation ofAfghanistaninfo-icon(FEFA)on Friday voiced its grave concern over the inordinate delay in the selectioncommittee’s work.

The delay in the nomination of election commission members by the selection committee could push back further parliamentary and district council polls, a senior FEFA official warned.

The Electoral Reform Commission (ERC) was formed on July 21 in compliance with a presidential decree. The commission collected public views regarding electoral reforms and submitted them to the government.

Some of the major suggestions include registration of voters, making the election bodies accountable, the presence of two foreigners on the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC), reservation of one seat in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon for the Hindu minority, delineation and shrinking of constituencies.

Other proposals include distribution of computerised identity cards, a 25 percent representation for womeninfo-icon in provincial and district councils and invalidation of the current voter cards.

The ERC has also suggested the number of Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) commissioners be reduced from the current nine to seven and the IECC members from seven to five.

Earlier, President Ashraf Ghani decreed seven suggestions of the ERC and called for urgent measures to provide legal cover for the proposals approved.

Following elaborate discussions with different segments of societyinfo-icon, the ERC submitted its first set of suggestions last week to the president.

In his decree, Ghani praised the performance of the paneland approved its suggestions for short-term reforms, a statement from the Presidential Palace had said.

In the decree, the president directed the reform panel to scrutinise all legal, technical and practical aspects of their suggestions and present detailed proposals to the chief executive office (CEO).

Executive Director of FEFAYousef Rashindi, concerned over the day in the launch of ERC work, alleged the government had failed to honour its commitments or take any practical steps in this regards.

The inscrutable procrastination would impinge upon electoral reform and push back Wolesi Jirga and district council elections, he said.

“For political reasons, the government could not keep its promises regarding the electoral reforms. A delay in the process shows the electoral reforms are not in the priorities of the government,” he charged.

A member of Afghanistan Civil Society Elections Network (ACSEN), Habibur Rahman Nang, said they believed both coalition partners were trying to include their own people in the committee election commissions.

“The commencement of the committee’s work is the first step toward the electoral reform. As soon as the committee starts its work, we will be start moving toward the elections,” he remarked.

Nang asked the government to pay attention to the independence of the selection committee, which must represent all people of the country and work in the supreme national interest.



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