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Parliamentary election to be held next year

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) set the July 7th, 2018 (16 Saratan, 1397 solar year) for the parliamentary and district council elections.

Long awaited date for election finally announced after two years delay in parliamentary election by the IEC. After broad fraud in presidential election in 2014, Afghan population, civil society and parties lost trust over IEC and Independent Election Complaint Commission (IECC) and they were seeking for complete reform in electoral bodies before running parliamentary election. National Unity Government (NUG) leaders after establishing NUG have pledge to bring reforms as soon as possible in IEC, but it took more than one year.

“After consultant we assigned 7th July 2018 as date for parliamentary and district council election in the country,” said IEC Chief Najibullah Ahmadzai.

Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday he said that IEC will exert utmost efforts to pave the ground for a free and fair election across the country.

IEC learned enough from 2014 presidential election and we are willing to run a real national election, he added.

Pointing to insecurity challenges, he called on government, related organs and people to support and cooperate with the IEC to hold a transparent and nationwide election.

He said that IEC will not let anyone or organs to interfere in election process.

Hinting to ongoing reforms in electoral bodies, he insisted that this process will be continued.

IEC chief urges government to work on budget, security for parliamentary election next year.

President Deputy Spokesman Shah Hussain Mortazawi Speaking at a press briefing welcomed parliamentary and district council election date by IEC.

He said that government is ready to support IEC for running a free and fair election.

In a statement the Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) welcomes the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announcement regarding the date for upcoming parliamentary elections.

ETWA believes that the date of the upcoming elections should be considered in such a way as to facilitate the implementation of the necessary electoral reforms that to ensure transparency of the elections in order to see better and fraud free elections.

ETWA calls on the Election Commission to attempt strengthening (Transparency, Integrity and inclusiveness) of electoral process in the run-up to the upcoming elections for the purpose of restoring the credibility of the people to the elections.

ETWA also urges the international community to perform its part in strengthening the fledgling democracy of Afghanistan by supporting the observation role of civil society in the election process.

The controversial parliamentary election was supposed to be held in October this year, according to an official from the electoral body, but postponed for lack of preparedness, reforms and security challenge.

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