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Further delay in parliamentary elections warned

AT-KABUL: A delay in the appointment of new Independent Election Commission (IEC) members and uncertainty about fate of its secretary may set back Wolesi Jirga and district council polls.

In a statement, the election panel expressed its concern over the delay and demanded the government introduce one more member of the commission as soon as possible.

“We want the election bodies to help accelerate the process of selecting the new member so that the commission could get its preparations for the elections without further delay,” Pajhwok Afghan News quoted the statement.

On November 15, President Ashraf Ghani removed the IEC chairman in line with the recommendation of his colleagues.

On the other hand, the commission voiced its concern over the uncertain future of the IEC secretary, saying the president had verbally removed the official during a meeting on October 21.

The commission said a formal letter regarding the future of the IEC secretariat had been sent to the Presidential Palace on November 13. The letter said IEC be instructed in writing about the secretariat future.

The IEC statement added another person was introduced as secretary of the commission on November 14 to the Presidential Palace but a formal response was yet to be received.

It added the IEC work might move slowly in the absence of the secretary whose main task was to implement poll-related decisions.

The IEC has announced July 28, 2018 as the date for the long-delayed Wolesi Jirga and district council elections, which should have been held three years ago.

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