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Electoral Reform Commission needs executive authority not advisory role: Tawhidi

AT Monitoring Desk: KABUL: Members of Electoral Reform Commission, recently appointed by the president, on Wednesday criticized the government for granting them advisory role for brining reforms in electoral bodies.

The members said the commission has no authority to take decision while brining reform in election panels. “Brining reform in electoral bodies is impossible sans having authority to take decision for driving the election system towards better changes,” said Sediqullah Tawhidi, deputy chief of Electoral Reform Commission. “We can call this commission a weak and advisory body, not more,” he said as quoted by TOLONews.

Bringing reform in electoral bodies was one of the main conditions of forming the national unity government. However, the government is still to take vital steps  in this regard in its first six months term.

The 15-member Electoral Reform Commission chaired by MP Shukria Barikzai was announced few hours ahead of Ghani and Abdullah’s visit to the United States. Though, the commission is yet to hold their first meeting.

A number of critics term the commission as symbolic and said it will not  prove crucial as it has not been given executive authority.

However, the second vice-president has said that electoral reform was the main responsibility of the National Unity Government (NUG).

“We hope that we hold transparent and fraud-free parliamentary election,” Danish told lawmakers.

However, the chief of Wolesi Jirga’s legal and judicial commission, Mohammad Abdoh, told lawmakers the other day that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials have made clandestine dealings with a number of MPs in a bid to prevent amendments in election law, which they fear that will remove them from their positions.

He also said that in return to meeting their demand, the IEC officials have promised lawmakers to ensure their victory in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

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