Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Experts Question IEC’s Progress on Electoral Reforms

Experts Question IEC’s  Progress on Electoral Reforms

KABUL - Critics have meanwhile blasted the IEC commissioners over their failure to publicize their working agendas – even after two months of being in office.
Questions have been raised over the slow pace at which electoral reforms are taking place, with some people saying this could undermine the timeline for the next elections.
The former head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Fazel Ahmad Manavi on Sunday blasted IEC officials and said no systematic efforts have been made so far in terms of bringing about electoral reforms.
He urged the IEC to step up efforts and prioritize its working agendas.
Election observers have also urged the IEC to take steps to remove the ongoing confusion over what the election commission is actually doing.
Observers have called for more robust action to be taken in order to regain the levels of trust in the electoral system that was damaged following the 2014 elections.
“No preliminary work so far has been taken for election reforms and no systematic reforms have been put in place; I think if the presidential and parliamentary elections are held in 2019, this would be a success, but I don’t think that the elections will be held on time,” said Manavi. 
Up to seventy candidates so far have filed nomination papers for the position of head of the IEC secretariat.
According to IEC officials, thirty candidates will be shortlisted and then three of them will be dispatched to the president for final approval.
Election monitoring groups have urged President Ashraf Ghani to pick the most qualified and professional candidate as the new head of the IEC secretariat and to ensure that the person has no political affiliation.
Critics have meanwhile blasted the IEC commissioners over their failure to publicize their working agendas – even after two months of being in office.
“With the passage of time, people’s faith continues to decline, because neither the people nor us as election observers are aware of their work, we do not know what they have worked on so far,” said Habibullah Shinwari, a member of Election and Transparency Watch Afghanistan.
The government and the IEC pledged to bring systematic reforms to the electoral system in order to hold free and fair elections.  (Tolonews)