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No special interest exists for holding election: Watchdogs

No special interest exists for holding election: Watchdogs

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Jul 16, 2019 - 19:39

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Election oversight institutes on Tuesday criticized what they said lack of interest on the part of the government and the international community to hold fair and transparent presidential election in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Naim Ayubzada, head of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), told a press conference here that his office and the Fair and Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FFEFA)’s findings showed no preparations had been made for holding a transparent, inclusive and acceptable election.

He criticized the lack of a clear mechanism, procedure for holding transparent election and said, “electoral commissions, the Afghan government and the international community are not serious about the election and they treat this issue very superficially, this situation has worried us.”

He said there had been no coordination among international players about the Afghan election as some emphasized on the poll while others preferred negotiations with the Talibaninfo-icon and peace.

Ayubzada termed holding election without a clear procedure an electoral suicide and said the results of the poll in such a situation would not be acceptable for any of presidential candidates.

He said election management was a time consuming process, regretting no practical work had been so far done in resoling technical problems, preparing voter lists, removing security issues, training workers and other activities.

He criticized sharing quotations in some of presidential tickets and said, “We are hearing romurs that two or three electoral tickets are trying to strike a power sharing deal, please work for transparency of the election.”

Yousuf Rashid, FFEFA executive director, said the beginning of the peace process and negotiations with the Taliban had increased political maneuvers and created confusion among the masses.

He said it was still not clear which process --- the election or peace -- should be prioritized.

He criticized the lack of coordination between members of the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) and said the issue would raise discriminatory discussions and it would badly impact the election process.

Pointing to technical problems in the election process, he said, “No decision has so far made about the biometric issue, there is also no decision yet about taking photos of female voters on the election day, if photo taking of womeninfo-icon voters becomes optional or become mandatory, both would have their own negative and positive sides.”

Rashid asked the IEC to make an immediate decision about the mentioned issues for transparent and just election and avoid problems in the election process.

On the other hand, Sughra Sadat, TEFA spokesman, criticized what she called election campaigns ahead of time.

 “The Ministry of Women Affairs has launched an awareness program about women’s participation in election, this program is somehow a campaign for a specific candidate.”

A joint statement released by the two watchdogs said security in all different phases of the election was a major factor for a standard poll. “Unfortunately the security sectors have failed to come up with a clear plan on this regard or coordinate its plans with the IEC or other electoral partners,” the source said.

However, the IEC said all their programs were ongoing based on coordination for ensuring transparency and justice in the election.

mds/ma

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