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Wolesi Jirga nixes presidential decree on ERC suggestions

Wolesi Jirga nixes presidential decree on ERC suggestions

Dec 21, 2015 - 14:17

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, or lower house of the parliament, on Monday rejected a presidential decree regarding suggestions of the Electoral Reform Commission (ERC).

Earlier, President Ashraf Ghani decreed seven suggestions of the ERC and called for urgent measures to provide legal cover to the proposals aimed at reforming the electoral system.

The proposals include registration of voters, making the election bodies accountable and the presence of two foreigners on the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC).

Also, the panel had suggested the reservation of one Wolesi Jirga seat for the Hindu minority and identification and shrinking of constituencies.

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

Lawmaker Abdul Qadir Zazai Watandost asked the house to revoke the decree because the election laws approved by the house and endorsed by the president were already in force.

In line with Article 14 of the election law, if there is a need for amendments, the issue should be referred to the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon).

Another legislator, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, told the government to exercise legal options for amending laws and the system. Of the 134 members present during the session, 132 voted against the decree.

Earlier, the MPs had said the existing election laws were irrevocable pending a house decision on ERC suggestions. Any decision of the selection committee would have no legal force in the presence of the current election laws, they argued.


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