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IEC puts to rest elections delay rumors

IEC puts to rest elections delay rumors

Jun 23, 2018 - 22:32

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members, citing sources at the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon), claimed on Saturday the upcoming elections might be delayed owing to the fresh impetus in the peace process.

The lower house members also claimed the government had decided to recede some areas to the Talibaninfo-icon as part of the peace process.

Government officials have not spoken in this regard.

Peace process and possible delay in elections

Efforts have been intensified to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban whose three days ceasefire increased hopes for peace after years of bloodshed.

The elections to Wolesi Jirga and district councils are scheduled for October 20.

Shekaba Hashami, a lawmaker from Kandahar province, said an IEC member had on the condition of anonymity told media persons that the upcoming elections “may be further delayed” due to the ongoing push for peace talks with the Taliban.

She, however, stressed that the Wolesi Jirga elections should not held as per schedule.

Her remarks were echoed by lawmaker Ghulam HussainNasari from central Maidan Wardak province. He stressed the elections should be conducted on the given date and the national process should not be delayed.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said deferring the elections was not acceptable, asking the government to come up with reason if it intended to postpone the ballot.

IEC Commissioner Syed Hafeezullah Hashami said the government was responsible to deal with issues relating to the Taliban, but as far as a delay was concerned, both the government and the IEC were committing to holding the elections on time.

“I have heard these rumors but politicians and lawmakers should not spread such rumors which may hurt the trust of the more than seven million voters who wanbt to exercise their right,” he said.

Hashami assured no IEC member had shared views regarding a delay in elections and rejected all media reports in this regard.

Claim of handing over some areas to Taliban

Lawmaker Nasari, without providing details, claimed the government wanted to hand over some areas to the Taliban, a process which had already begun in Jalrez district of Maidan Wardak province.

Abdul Latif Pedram, a lawmaker from Badakhshan province, said giving areas to the rebels was against the Constitution.

Speaker Ibrahimi termed peace ‘a dire need’ and said: “The peace process is ambiguous and hiding details from the masses is not acceptable. Suggestions from both the sides should be revealed to the people,” he said.

Pajhwok tried to seek comment from defense and interior ministries’ officials in this regard, but not contact could be established.



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