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Parliamentary election schedule being unveiled today

Parliamentary election schedule being unveiled today

Jan 17, 2016 - 17:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) said on Sunday the schedule for Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon and district council polls would be announced Monday.

A statement from the IEC said the commission head and other officials would announce the election schedule before noon at a press conference at its compound.

Earlier, President Ashraf Ghani had said his government is ready to hold lower house and district council elections between summer and autumn of this year.

The president made the pledge during separate meetings with members of the Electoral Reform Commission and the selection committee at the Presidential Palace, a statement from the palace had said.

 According to the IEC, the election timetable had been prepared keeping in mind the capacity of the election bodies after necessary consultation with national and international advisors.

In its statement, the IEC sought government’s help to meet its financial and security requirement for successfully conducting the delayed ballots.

Addressing a session of Wolesi Jirga, IEC chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani said the commission had taken measures to avoid past mistakes. The measures included appointment of workers on short-term contracts and improving conditions inside polling stations and other areas.

Nuristani was summoned by the lower house to provide information on parliamentary and district council elections.

Based on the IEC’s new plan, schools will be designated as polling stations, new voter cards will be distributed, voter lists will be prepared and teachers hired as short-term workers, he explained.

Nuristani informed the legislators that they had shared the new plan with security organs. Without giving details, he said the election costs had been estimated and shared with the government.

Under Article 83 of the Constitution, members of the Wolesi Jirga shall be elected by the people through free, general, secret and direct balloting.

Tenure of the lower house ends after the announcement of the results of the elections on June 22 of the fifth year when a new parliament is supposed to embark on work.

The parliamentary elections will be held 30 to 60 days prior to the expiration of the assembly’s term. The ballot due in April or May was delayed due to lack of funds.

President Ghani, subsequently, extended the Wolesi Jirga term on June 17 until the new elections are held.


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