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‘Delay in electoral reforms undermines political stability’

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Afghan Civil Society Network for Elections criticized delay in the electoral bodies’ reforms, saying that further postponement would mar political stability.

“Government has no strong political intention to bring reforms in electoral bodies, thus,” said the civil society executive chief Habiburrahman Nang.

He emphasized that reforms must be brought according to the people’s expectations.

President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah committed to bring reforms in Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) based on a political agreement soon after they agreed to form the National Unity Government in 2014. “But unfortunately, the government has not held any serious steps in this regard,” Nang added.

He called the parliamentary election expected to be held this year “impossible”, “unless basic reforms are brought in the electoral bodies.”

There are demands in national and international levels for reforms in the electoral bodies, so the government is required to step up efforts in this aspect, he noted.

A member of the Civil Society Network Humaira Haqmal said that lack of law was the main factor behind challenges people were facing. “Therefore, the government must take measures for reforms in the election system,” she said.

Haqmal said that qualified figures should be appointed as the election commissioners, so the problems people witnessed in the 2014 presidential election, would not be repeated.

Sughra Saadat, spokeswoman for the Civil Society Network said that network believes that reform is a necessity in the electoral bodies. “Any delay and neglect in the process will impair political stability.”

She emphasized new commissioners should be appointed through a transparent process.

The network asked the government to consider people, civil society and international community’s demands regarding their commitments about electoral reforms.

The Independent Election Commission has recently said that the government was not allowed to impose amendments in electoral bodies based on the law.

 

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