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IEC commissioner accuses ‘elements inside presidential palace’ of interfering in election

AT News Report

KABUL: A commissioner of Independent Election Commission (IEC) accused the presidential office of “interfering in their affairs”. He said that elements around President Ashraf Ghani block roads in hiring process of IEC employees.

Mohammad Abdullah, a commissioner of IEC, said that successful applicants for IEC vacancies were not approved by the presidential palace for different reasons.

He added the IEC submitted a list of qualified applicants for the approval by President Ashraf Ghani, but nobody responded to the requests to approve them.

“I do not accuse President Ashraf Ghani of interfering in our jobs, but certainly elements around him make easier lawless works and make harder law-abiding process,” said Mr. Abdullah. “I have documents to prove my claims.”

Many former employees of IEC were not allowed to work for two years, but they had already in hand permission from the presidential palace to be appointed as director of a number of directorates.

“Our concern is how a person who was fired from IEC could find his way back to his old position.” said Mr. Abdullah.  

But Shah Hussain Murtazawai, deputy spokesperson for President Ghani, rejected the allegations, saying that the presidential palace did not interfere in the hiring process of IEC, said Mr. Murtazawai.

In regulation of the country’s election, hiring process is under the watch of a joint committee of IEC and Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCC).

The IEC said that the new regulation remained only on the paper and the hiring process was not done based on the regulation.

This came as the government increased efforts to hold Presidential election in September 28. However, many Presidential candidates accused President Ashraf Ghani, who also runs for re-election, of misusing government resources on the purpose of campaigning.

The controversial Presidential race scheduled for September was initially dated to April and then July 20. Political disputes between the politicians and presidential candidates as well as lack of preparation for the election led to the delay of the Presidential race.

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