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ETWA express concern over lack of independency in IEC

AT News Report-KABUL: Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) on Sunday released a report in which expressed concerned over lack of independency and inefficiency of Independent Election Commission (IEC) and seeks reformation in the body.
Besides, the ETWA also some other party and civil organizations blamed IEC with lack of independency and inefficiency and asked for real reformation in the IEC.
ETWA assessment revealed that transparency and accountability is weak in IEC, said Member of ETWA Habibullah Shinwari.
He said that involvement of Administrative Reforms Commission in hiring of permanent staff of IEC is against law of IEC and it undermines independency of the body.
Similar there is officials codify the law and implement it himself which is against regulation, he added.
Not sharing information impedes transparency, where IEC never shared law cases in its website, he noted.
He said that the session of IEC must be public and all parties and people must have information, which was not followed by IEC.
He stated that already eight months passed from selection of commissioners, but still the IEC don’t have the list of voters.
The IEC public affairs office needs to be revised, he asserted.
He said that the IEC must itself take decision in the procurement aspect cost below 50 million Afs and the procurement committee must not interfere.
ETWA also recommended that the IEC itself must make decision independency for hiring its permanent staffs. ETWA said that the International Community must continue to its technical support with IEC and bring pressure over government for rerunning a free and fair election. The political parties and civil societies must have presence in session and monitoring programs of IEC.
Member of New National Front Party of Afghanistan Sediqullah Patman said that after the National Unity Government formed through a political agreement people lost their trust over election.
He said that although electoral bodies were not guilty in 2014 election challenges, it was result of fraud by the two rival teams.
Criticizing IEC’s new commissioners, he said that they are inefficient.
He said that eight months passed from selecting of new commissioners, but nothing has been done by IEC.
Member of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) Naim Ashghari IEC must exert utmost efforts to keep independency and transparency.
He said that unfortunately till date IEC never launched its session publicly, which is against transparency.
Member of the Wolesi Jirga Shah Gul Rezai said that eight months left to parliamentarian election, but still parliament and people are not aware about the method of election that in which mechanism coming election will be launched.
She said that early report leaked that coming election will be run in new method, but later they rejected that election will be launched as last methods, so if the IEC use the ex-voting cards in polling process how it will solve the problem of eight million extra cards.
She said that according to information around 13 million eligible voters are in Afghanistan, but over 21 million voting cards distributed.
Government interference also reported in IEC, even there is report that the government forced commissioners to write white resign papers and if they not followed government rule will be dismissed, she claimed.
IEC commissioner Rafiullah Bedar said that IEC is committed to keep transparency and independency and not let anyone to interfere in IEC affairs.
He said that we are committed to run free and fair election.
He also reject the report regarding written of white resign papers and called it baseless.

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