By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday welcomed rejection of the presidential decree regarding suggestions of the Electoral Reforms Commission (ERC).
Chief of the IEC Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani said that political uncertainty has come to an end and the technical method was restored in electoral process.
He said, “There was shadow of political uncertainty over the electoral process for the last one and half years. But, after rejection of the presidential decree by the Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga, technical authority has been restored in the process.”
Speaking at a press conference here he said the IEC would not allow any national or foreign organization to interfere in the electoral process.
“After decision of the parliament, the selection committee’s duty comes to an ends. The committee has no legal ground to stand on and continue work,” he said, terming rejection of the presidential decree a step of the parliament to support democracy.
The parliament has recently rejected the presidential decree on the ERC suggestions with majority. The lawmakers said that details on what the presidential decree required were unavailable.
Delay in reforms in the electoral bodies resulted in postponement of the Wolesi Jirga polls.
Speaking about the Wolesi Jirga elections, Nuristani said that the IEC was ready to hold the elections, but was waiting for the government to make preparations.
He said that the government had to provide budget to the IEC and cooperate in the maintenance of security to hold the election.
“The electoral commission [IEC] will try its best to hold the election in a fair and transparent manner. However, total fraud prevention is impossible until the electronic national identity cards were distributed. Distribution of the electronic identity cards is crucial for free and fair election across the country,” Nuristani added.
The IEC came under severe criticism after it failed to hold the 2014 presidential election transparently. Industrial-scale fraud was reported in the presidential poll. The electoral commission also failed to announce the results on time.
The electoral deadlock came to end when the United States brokered a deal between the two candidates and laid foundation of the National Unity Government (NUG).
Many voters say that they would not go to polling stations if reforms were not introduced as their mandate was not respected in the presidential election in 2014.
In September last year, the Civic Movement of Social Justice, a cluster of civil society organizations, urged the NUG to dismiss the current commissioners of the IEC and introduce them to the relevant judicial body.
Chief of CMSJ, Ahmad Zaki, said that dismissal of the current commissioners of the IEC is one of the major demands of people.
“Everyone knows that the current election commissioners were responsible for frauds in the 2014 presidential elections. Thus, they should be fired. Mere dismissal is not enough, but those commissioners accused of involvement in poll rigging should be also dragged into court,” he added.
In July 2015, the Deputy Chairman of the Special Electoral Reform Commission (SERC), Sediqullah Tawhidi, said that for long-lasting and satisfactory reforms in the electoral bodies it was necessary to fire the all current members of the IEC.
He stressed that removal of the current members is essential for restoring trust of public over the electoral system.
In an interview with Afghanistan Times, Tawhidi said that people do not trust the current members of the IEC, and urged the SERC to sack the IEC officials, who are accused of rigging during the 2014 presidential elections.