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Talks on electoral bodies overhaul underway: Rahimi

AT-KABUL: Spokesman to the chief executive officer (CEO) said that talks between President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah are underway to bring reforms in the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

Mujeebur Rahman Rahimi told newsmen that complete overhaul of the IEC and IECC is imperative because the two teams pledged to bring reforms and make elections in future free and fair. He said that key officials of the two electoral bodies would be dismissed to ensure future polls are transparent.

He said that soon an electoral reforms commission would be established as Abdullah’s team has finalized list of the members. The names will be announced after issuance of a presidential decree. There are no differences between the president and CEO over change of faces in the two election commissions, the spokesman added.

Earlier, local media reported that high-ranking officials at the two commissions would remain on their posts.

Regarding finalization of a new list to introduce cabinet members to the Wolesi Jirga, the spokesman said that discussion over the new picks is in progress and the nominees likely to be introduced soon after the winter recess is over.

Afghan lawmakers are on winter vacations and would return to business on March 7, 2015.

Rahimi said the two teams are trying to finalize the list as soon as possible. “We are also trying to introduce new faces.”

When asked whether the rejected picks would be reintroduced, he said that talks are in progress between the president and CEO, but “nothing such” has been discussed so far.

However, he said that there is no law that forbids the rejected nominees from reintroduction to the Wolesi Jirga for another position.

Before going on winter recess the MPs rejected 10 out of 19 cabinet members. This was seen as a major blow for the national unity government.

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