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90pc Afghans want electoral reforms: SERC

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: The Special Electoral Reforms Commission (SERC) on Saturday said 90 percent electorates want reforms in the country’s electoral system.

In a meeting with the members of Meshrano Jirga, Chief of the SERC, Shah Sultan Aakifi, said that in meetings with the elders, civil society activists, political parties and jihadi leaders they found out that 90 percent of people want electoral reforms to have fair and free polls in future.

He said the special commission has met with 2,000 representatives of different social and political groups in all four zones. Besides electoral reforms, the representatives also stressed on issuance of the computerized electronic national identification cards (e-NICs), he added.

“Distribution of the electronic national IDs, punishment of those who are involved in poll rigging, electoral reforms, and qualification of candidates are the major suggestions that the special commission received. Public also want specification of voters number at the polling stations,” said Aakifi.

He termed electoral reforms as guarantee for transparent elections, saying that without it the electoral results would not be accepted to people.

Secretary of the Meshrano Jirga (MJ), Najiba Hussaini, said the electoral law explains 31 types of punishment for those who are involved in fraud, but none was implemented.

Advice, warning, fine, imprisonment and sacking were underlined as major types of punishment by Najiba Hussaini.

Deputy Speaker of the MJ, Muhammad Alam Ezidyar, said that creating neutral electoral commissions, distribution of the e-NICs would help in having free and fair elections.

Ezidyar also proposed that the authority of the electoral commissions’ secretariat should be reduced and the officials of the electoral commissions must be answerable to the parliament and the president.

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