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New IEC, IECC commissioners take oath

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The National Unity Government appointed new commissioners for electoral bodies after a long delay.

The new commissioner took oath of office on Tuesday in a ceremony set in presidential palace.

Out of over 700 applicants, the selection committee recently has shortlisted 21 nominees for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and 15 for the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

The names of shortlisted candidates were submitted to the president, where after assessment the president has selected seven commissioners for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and five commissioners for the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

“After hard and long efforts, we succeeded to select new commissioners for electoral bodies,” said President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

He said that professionalism, knowledge, experience and tribal balances were considered in selecting the commissioners.

He urged the new commissioners to operate transparently, sincerely and independently.

Pointing to the parliamentary and provincial council election next year, Ghani said that a credible election institution could institutionalize democracy across the country.

The president insisted that the government would do its best to support electoral bodies.

He said that electoral commission must be away from any types of governmental and other organs’ interference.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that appointing of new commissioners was a fundamental step for future of Afghanistan.

He asked the commissioners to operate honestly.

Najeebullah Ahmadzai, Abdul Qader Quraishi, Maliha Hassan, Wasima Badghisi, Maazullah Dawlati, Rafiulah Bedar, Guljan and Abdulbari Sayyad were selected for Independent Electoral Commission. Ghulam Dastgir Hedayat, Abdul Basir Fayez, Ali Reza Rohani, Homaira Haqmal, and Abdul Azizi Ariayee are the new members of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.

It is pertained to mention that after challenges of fraud in presidential election 2014, the National Unity Government during first days of stability unity government pledge to bring reform in election commissions in order to gain people trust back over electoral bodies. After passing two years the government succeeded to assign a selection committee to finalize the nominees list and submitted to the president and finally president selected 12 commissioners for electoral bodies. Due to lack of reform in electoral commission parliamentarian election was postponed as well.

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