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Anti-govt. rhetoric flares up amid claims of poll meddling

AT News Report-KABUL: Afghans have three months to legislative and district councils’ election, but the electoral monitoring bodies accuse the government of “taking electoral commissions as hostage” and having no plan to support elections.

Yousuf Rashid, head of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), said Saturday that the government was interfering in the works of electoral commissions which is out of its authority.

“The government is trying to derail the election process. We are witnessing a childish game in the election issue, this needs to be solved and the electoral bodies should not be taken hostage. The electoral bodies are carrying out things out of their authorities. We are concerned of this and believe that justice is trampled,” said Rashid.

Another monitoring body had earlier said that electoral commissions had several problems and have not yet employed staff in the most of provincial branches.

The monitoring bodies claim that government had marginalized the electoral complaints commission by interfering in its works and tries to manage the whole election.

The election commission last week released initial list of the candidates of parliament and district councils elections.

Homaira Haqmal, deputy head of the electoral complaints commission said that the body had received more than 500 complaints from both capital and provinces since the release of the initial list of candidates.

She added that lack of provincial commissioners and limited authorities has prevented the commission to assess the complaints.

The president’s office only approved 27 of 102 people who had been introduced as provincial commissioners by the electoral complaints commission.

“The government has created no restriction in the work of electoral bodies and the commissions are wasting the time. We are waiting for the complete list of commissioners for several days. The government provides security and financial sources for the elections, but does not interfere in their works,” said Shah HosseinMortazavi, president Ghani’s spokesman.


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