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Disqualified candidates have right to appeal: Experts

Disqualified candidates have right to appeal: Experts

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Aug 12, 2018 - 18:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Election candidates whose names are removed from the initial list of runners have the right of appeal against the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC)’s decision, legal experts said on Sunday.

The IECC has barred 35 candidates from running in the Oct 20 parliamentary elections and they include some sitting lawmakers and former election commission secretary and politician Ziaul Haq Amarkhel.

Amarkhel had said the IECC had legal evidence to remove his name from the candidate’s list and that he had not been given the chance to explain his position.

Abdul Sattar Saadat, former IECC head and legal expert, said it was the election body’s right to decide on complaints against candidates and its decision should be respected.

He, however, said candidates whose names had been removed from the initial list were unaware about complaints against them until the decision was announced.

He said the accused candidates should have been informed well before their names were dropped in order they could have defended themselves.

Saadat said the IECC’s decision should have been sent to the Independent Election Commission with all legal supporting documents about the removal of candidates.

He said such vague decisions might harm the credibility and public’s trust in future elections.

Another legal expert Ajmal Hodman says there are two stages in which complaints against candidates are evaluated.

He said in the first stage complaints were addressed at provincial level and in the second at central level if the issue could not be resolved at the provincial IECC office.

According to Hodman, the IECC could also take action against law violation by a candidate without registration of a complaint.  He said in all such cases, a person against whom a complaint was registered had the right to appeal.

The IECC on Saturday said 35 candidates in the Wolesi Jirga polls were not qualified to be nominated and sent their names to the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Among the disqualified candidates, 12 of them are incumbent members of the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon.

According to the list, the 35 candidates belong to Kabul, Uruzgan, Bamyan, Badakhshan, Balkh, Parwan, Paktia, Takhar, Khost, Samangan, Faryab, Logar and Nangarhar provinces while two others from from Kuchi (nomads) zone.

nh/ma

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