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Govt urged not to politicize electoral reforms process

KABUL: Blaming the government for interference into electoral affairs, a number of electoral monitoring organizations on Sunday prodded the national unity government not to politicize the electoral reforms process, and pay all-out efforts in bringing reforms in election panels ahead of the upcoming parliamentary polls.

The Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) and the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) presented a proposed mechanism for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) aimed at bringing reforms in election panels. The electoral monitoring organizations called on the national unity government to stay impartial in this process and avoid making it political.

The FEFA and FEFA issued a resolution wherein they urged the national unity government leaders not to interfere in the process that involves bringing reforms in election panels.

Blaming the government for interference in electoral affairs, the head of TEFA, Mohammad Naim Ayubzada, said that any kind of interference in electoral affairs by the government would damage the newborn democracy in Afghanistan; therefore this issue should be considered as important by the president and the CEO of the national unity government.

Naming no specific figure, he claimed that a number of political figures want to drive the electoral reforms process in their favor aimed at making way for their favorites in the upcoming round of parliamentary polls.

Terming the proposed mechanism as the best way to hold a transparent election in future, particularly the upcoming parliamentary polls, Ayubzada said that holding upcoming election without bringing reforms in poll panels is a big mistake that would create challenges in the country as it did in the two rounds of presidential election. “The government is reluctant to bring reforms in election commissions. The national unity government should make its stance clear in this regard or else the nation will not witness a transparent election and they will not trust on the election panels anymore,” he added.

The main points mentioned in the resolution included brining reforms in election commissions based on the agreement prior to the formation of the national unity government, avoiding to make the process political, and appointing new faces in the IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC). The resolution also urged for holding parliamentary and district councils elections at one time countrywide.

Other suggestions of the TEFA and FEFA included announcing the date for holding parliamentary election, urgent issuance of electronic national identification cards (e-NIC), and taking practical steps by the government in bringing reforms in election commission ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election. (Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi)

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