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Deadlock on electoral reforms over

President approves election law; Govt committed to support media outlets

By MansoorFaizy-KABUL: The prolong deadlock on electoral reforms has been ended after President Ashraf Ghani approved election law, and soon the selection committee will start working.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, the President’s Deputy Spokesman in a press briefing on Saturday said that the president had ordered the selection committee to select new members of the election commission of Afghanistan.

The call for the reforms in the electoral system of the county has come after 2014 presidential election was married by massive fraud.

In several occasions, both leaders Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah agreed to bring reforms in electoral body after the formation of National Unity Government.

Previously, the chief executive Abdullah criticized Ghani for being reluctant to bring reforms in electoral system. After the remark, relations between the two leaders reached at boiling point, where the two leader’s supporters were accusing each other. However, tensions were eased after the meeting, and both the leaders agreed to take bold step to bring reforms.

“There is no rift between the two leaders,” Murtazawi told reporters, adding that today (Saturday) evening President Ghani and CEO Abdullah would meet to discuss census law of the country.

Before submitting his resignation, head of Independent Election Commission (IEC) Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani opposed the formation of selection committee, calling the formation illegal.

The IEC is working in accordance to the law, he said, terming Electoral Reform Commission and the Selection Committee illegal and formed based on political deal.

At the same time, the deputy spokesman, assured media outlets of support and said that freedom of media is one of greatest achievements of the country in the past 15-year.

“If any government department denies to give information, media can lodge complaints to the President’s office.”

He also assured that the NUG is committed to ensure safety of media organization and its activities in the country.

In a response to a query, Murtazawi said that the government is committed of adhering to the peace deal with Hezb-e-Islmai Afghanistan (HIA).

The long-awaited peace agreement three days ago (Thursday) was inked between the government and Hezb-e-Islamito finalize peace agreement with (HIA) party, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The initial draft of peace agreement was signed by National Security Adviser, Haneef Atmar, High Peace Council Head, Syed Ahmad Gilani and head of HIA delegation, Mohammad Amin Karim.

The agreement will handed over to the President Ashraf Ghani and the HIA leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar for final approval.

Peace agreement between government and the HIA party has been widely welcomed. It is hoped this peace agreement give birth to the long-lasting peace to the country and convince the Taliban insurgents to also shun violence and reintegrate into civil society.


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