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Wolesi Jirga polls slated for mid-October

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the Wolesi Jirga and district council elections for October 15th.

“Today, the IEC announces that the parliamentary and district council elections will be held on October 15, 2016,” said Ahmad Yousuf Nooristani, head of the commission.

Wolesi Jirga election was expected to be held last April, but postponed due to some problems including disagreements between the leaders of the government on the electoral body staff.

Noorsitani asked the government to take necessary measures to provide budget and ensure security for elections.

“Article 43 of the election law anticipates that the election date should be announced at least 180 days earlier, therefore we determine 15 October (24 Mizan 1395 Afghan year) as the day of parliamentary and district council elections,” he mentioned.

But, chief executive Abdullah Abdullah urges on basic changes in the leadership of the electoral commission, saying that the current commissioners were not authorized to hold elections.

“Electoral reform is an important issue that we have been discussing daily. Afghans are still concerned at the flawed management of the previous elections,” he said Monday.

“Electoral reform is a basic requirement and the government is committed to holding the parliamentary and district council elections under the supervision of a new commission.”

Nooristani argues that based on electoral law, he should work for six years in the election commission. “Legally the government cannot fire me.”

Some political analysts believe the reforms that government would bring based on power sharing would be more hazardous.

Addul Wali Azami, an analyst says if the government brings reforms in electoral commissions based on power sharing, the lawmakers would obtain the chairs through compromise.

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