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ETWA questions selection process of candidates for IEC

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA), on Wednesday released its monitoring report regarding selection of commissioners by Selection Committee in which revealed that the committee failed to pursue the process in full transparency.

The report was documented through one month monitoring of the selection process as well as via interviewing number of failed candidates. The report noted down that lack of a clear address for receiving complain of candidates and people regarding candidates, not sharing of list of nominees till announcement of final list and scarcity of specific standards and criteria for candidates were the main points that undermined transparency during selection of commissioners.

“ETWA report shows that during interview one candidate was under attack of questions by the committee, but another was asked only few questions, which was not followed in a balance,” said the ETWA in charge, Shah Mahmood Mal.

If the selection committee shared the 720 candidates list, people could express views and it could be a supportive step for transparency, he added.

He stated that presence of four ex-commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) among the newly selected candidates is also the matter of concern for the ETWA.

The ETWA Member Habibullah Shinwari said: “our finding shows there was no any address for candidates and people complaints, which is a clear sign for unprofessionalism of the committee.”

He said that till date the final list not announced, the candidates list not shared with the public.

“Sharing list of all candidates with the people and media in advance would provide the chance to express views regarding each candidate and this step could be positive in boosting transparency.”

He said that in some cases government influences was also sensible, but did not elaborate further.

The ETWA urged the president to exert utmost efforts to follow selection of nominees with full transparency.

Selection Committee of Election Commissioners last Thursday, after reviewing 722 applications has finalized the list of electoral commissioner candidates and submitted it to President Ghani.

21 of over 700 applicants have been shortlisted for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and 15 for the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

Out of 21 nominees, seven will be selected as commissioners for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and out of 15 candidates five will be assigned for the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

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