Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Monday, December 22nd, 2014

The Approval of Election Law

The much awaited electoral was finally passed by joint commission of upper and lower house of the parliament last Monday. This was initially approved by lower house of the parliament but was rejected by Afghan senators on account of the article which omitted the thirty percent quota of women in lower house of the parliament and 25 percent in provincial councils.

Thereafter, a joint commission was established by lower and upper house of the parliament. After much discussion, finally 20 percent quota was considered in the new election law. The law still needs to be signed by President Hamid Karzai. Another law regulating the responsibilities of the electoral management bodies was passed over the weekend. President Karzai also needs to sign off on that one. It was not known when President Karzai would act. If endorsed by President, completion of the two laws would clear the way for the elections on April 5 next year.

The electoral law defines the legal framework for the elections, while the structural measure governs the independent electoral commission and the appointment of its senior officials. After the approval of the structural law, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan urged President Karzai to quickly endorse and enact the legislation. Meanwhile, President Karzai has not determined that when he is going to sign the laws.

However, the approval of the law can be a major step-forward for holding elections and it can possibly end to murmurings about the possibility of elections’ annulment albeit with the signature of President Karzai. There are talks that Afghan officials are reluctant to hold election because they will not able to maintain their current political power.

They might try to build a transitional government and later on do something to keep their power. But the international community has clearly warned of such an action. It is certain that without holding election, the international community will not keep continuing its support and such shock to political establishment perhaps spoil achievements made during past 12 years.

Thus, it is suggested to Afghan officials not to gain stigma of the history. They should understand that the country is at a cross road. After decades or perhaps centuries, it has found the chance to move towards peace and stability. If these gentlemen again spoil this chance for the sake of their own personal interests, then neither people nor Allah Almighty will forgive them.