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‘Ethnic bias’ alleged in IECC appointments

‘Ethnic bias’ alleged in IECC appointments

May 13, 2018 - 16:18

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some individuals, who recently sat test for jobs at the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC), allege they were subjected to ethnic discrimination and the posts went to relatives of commissioners.

Mohammad Fateh, a candidate for the Provincial Commissioner for Electoral Complaints, said “ethnic discrimination” plagued the recruitment process at IECC and that 68 provincial election commissioners had recently been recruited on the basis of their affiliation with the commissioners.

Referring to equal distribution of posts between the five commissioners, he said: “On the exam day, I found my name in the list of Abdul Aziz Faez, one of the commissioners on IECC, his assistant questioned if there is any Pashtuninfo-icon among you. I said yes I am Pashtun and they subsequently referred me to the office of Humira Haqmal, deputy IECC commissioner, and Haqmal’s assistant told her“this man belongs to you.”

“When Haqmal saw my ID card (Tazkera) she said your mother tongue is Dari and it does not belong to us” and again sent me to Faez who took three minutes taking exam from others but my exam lasted over half an hour.”

He said: “After some days I received a call and the caller asked “what’s your tribe?”and when I said “Pashtun” the call cut off.”

Fateh said despite obtaining 75 marks in the test he was not selected because he had no relation with a commissioner.

Mohammad Ajmal Hodman, the Lawyer Association head, also criticized recent appointments at IECC and said ethnic balance had not been considered in the appointments in provinces.

On 34 provincial IECC posts, three Pashtuns, five from Daikundi, six from Badakhshan and the remaining from other tribes have been appointed.

He said all IECC employees, including provincial chiefs, had been hired for managing the election schedule and addressing voters’ and candidates’ complaints.

“If their employment is based on relations, then how can they serve people’s interest, they will be in the service of those who have hired them,” he added.

He criticized the use of old employment method at IECC and said: “The two electoral bodies don’t have a new structure for hiring.”

Hodman said such statements damaged public trust in elections and the election commissions. “This issue should be addressed by the president himself.”

Yousuf Rashid, Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistaninfo-icon (TEEFA) executive chief, also said his institute had twice been invited to oversee the employment process at IECC, but they were not in dark about later stages until interviewsinfo-icon.

He said candidates should be given preference considering their proficiency and discrimination on ethnic and linguistic lines would give birth to serious problems.

However, Mohammad Nazari, public awareness in-charge at IECC, rejected the allegation of ethnic discrimination, saying  the employment process of provincial commissioners were based on merit, but the last employment was based on a competitive exam for transparency.

The IECC is authorized to select its employees and the commission can select individuals and suggest them to the President.

“The IECC commissioners are from different ethnic groups of the country, two of the commissioners are Pashtuns, one is Hazara, one is Uzbek and one is Tajik, these commissioners consider ethnic balance,” he said.

About the nature of exam from provincial IECC members, Nazari said, “The exam from provincial IECC members was taken by Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC, which was based on merit and qualification.”



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