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Transparency stressed in selection of new IEC members

Transparency stressed in selection of new IEC members

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Feb 25, 2016 - 15:36

KABU (Pajhwok): The Afghanistaninfo-icon Civil Societyinfo-icon Election Network (ACSEN) on Thursday stressed the need for complete transparency in the selection of new election commissioners.

Habib Rahman Nang, ACSEN’s executive chief, told reporters in Kabulinfo-icon the government had failed to keep its promise of taking concert steps toward reforming the country’s election system.

Cleaning up the election system was necessary, he said, asking government to embark on the important task. Any further delay in the process would lead to serious complications, he warned.

Roshan Seran, a member of ACSEN, also insisted on the implementation of reforms in the system. He observed empty slogans about revamp would not promote the cause of democracy.

Some months earlier, the Election Reform Commission (ERC) presented the government an eight-point reformlist. President Ashraf Ghani decreed seven suggestions and called for urgent measures to provide legal cover to the proposals.

The major 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 suggested the reservation of one Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon (lower house) seat for the Hindu minority and identification and shrinking of constituencies.

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

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

Wolesi Jirga, however, rejected the presidential decree regarding ERC suggestions. The rejection represents a huge question mark over the entire process.

The house revoked the decree because the election laws already approved by it and endorsed by the president were in force.In line with Article 14 of the law, if there is a need for amendments, the issue should be referred to the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

According to ACSEN, the appointment of new commissioners was an important process. He urged adherence to pure merit in the appointments. The selection committee was asked to ensure professional were appointed to the commission.

nh/mu

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