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Challenges grappling IECC worrisome

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KABUL: An election watchdog on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the hurdles facing the work of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

A statement from the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) welcomed the efforts made by IECC with regard to ‘precise and fair’ adjudication of complaints.

It said addressing the 16,500 complaints necessitated transparent, accurate and comprehensive proceedings on the part of IECC in light of the law.

Given the staggering number of complaints, the FEFA, however, said there was a need for more time to adjudicate them and that this matter was a serious challenge in the work of IECC.

FEFA suggested that the IECC should have paved the ground for addressing the complaints in provincial offices of the electoral body and thus some shortcomings arising from this area would prolong the process.

The electoral watchdog also requested IECC to share its initial assessment and information with the people and stakeholders, as well as clarify its stance that whether it intended to meet the 15-day deadline or wanted to extend it.

FEFA also urged all the parties involved in the election process to support the IEC in order to strengthen the credibility and legitimacy of the election. The statement also said these parties should avoid any kind of interference in the electoral commission’s affairs.

The registration for electoral complaints started on December 22 after the announcement of preliminary results of the presidential polls. The IECC recorded more than 16,000 complaints filed by the presidential contenders.

The categorization of these complaints came to end on December 30 and the investigation of these complaints started on last Tuesday.

Based on electoral laws, the IECC should address all these complaints within 15 days; however, some commissioners have said that due to the high volume of complaints, they wouldn’t be able to cope with all of them in a timely manner.

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