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Draft changes to election law not yet final: Chakhansouri

Draft changes to election law not yet final: Chakhansouri

Feb 08, 2019 - 22:21

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Draft amendments to the election law are not yet final and a technical committee will set the seal on it after consultation with all stakeholders, President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman said on Friday.

Haroon Chakhansouri told Pajhwok Afghan News that a string of consultative meetings had been held from January 27 to 31 on amendments to the election law.

Representatives of civil societyinfo-icon, , political parties, womeninfo-icon, political leaders, candidates and observers attended the meetings, according to the presidential aide.

At the conclusion of the sessions, he said, the stakeholders agreed on changes to the election law and replacement of heads and members of the poll panels, he added.

Members of the Supreme Court, Attorney General’s Office, Constitution Oversight Committee and the Legislative Committee have held 25 meetings, wherein ideas were offered verbally and in writing.

The spokesman said certain amendments to the election law were recommended in line with these views and suggestions. The latest session, attended by candidates, their agents and civil society representative, took place on Friday.

The participants agreed to constitute a committee

in the next couple of days to finalise the proposed amendments, Ghani’s spokesman said.

Major changes were being brought to the law, the spokesman said, adding the president’s powers had been clearly outlined in the Constitution.

He said political parties registered with the Ministry of Justice, relevant civil society organisations and the Presidential Palace each would present in a week lists of 15 people -- five of them women – for appointment as members of the election commission and head of the secretariat.

Based on consultations with the Supreme Court, Attorney General’s Office, the Constitution Oversight Committee, Woesi Jirgainfo-icon speaker, Senate chairman, AIHRC chief, political leaders and women's representatives, the president will name seven members of the election commission.

If political parties and election-related civil society groups are unable to introduce eligible people, the president will appoint the poll panel members on his own in exercise of his legal powers.

Chakhansouri explained the president would be presented with names of 20 people, of whom five would be appointed as members of the Electoral Complaints Commission.

He rejected criticism of the proposed amendments from some political parties and said they had not properly studied the draft. The changes included their written and verbal suggestions, he insisted.   


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