Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

IEC Not Capable to Conduct Elections Next Year: ETWA

IEC Not Capable to Conduct  Elections Next Year: ETWA

KABUL - An assessment by the Election and Transparency Watch of Afghanistan (ETWA) said that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) is not capable of holding parliamentary elections next year and necessary reforms that were pledged in the past have not been implemented. 
Basic reforms have not been put in place in the independent election commission, said ETWA.
According to the watchdog, the lack of coordination between IEC commissioners and government’s reluctance to hold elections are key factors that have overshadowed the implementation of reforms in Afghanistan’s election system.
ETWA said no solid steps have been taken to bring about reforms a year after the election commission took charge.
“On the basis of the assessment and in line with research and interviews we conducted, unfortunately the commission is faced with two challenges in its work and in terms of preparations for the elections; the first challenge is within the IEC which takes root from the lack of cooperation and coordination between the commissioners and the lack of commitment within the government itself towards holding the elections,” said Shah Mahmoud Mal, a member of the governing board of ETWA.
“The board of commissioners should act as observers over the work of the secretariat of the election commission; it is only the secretariat’s office which can carry out the overall election operations,” said ETWA member Habibullah Shinwari.
Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers in parliament and politicians have expressed deep concerns over what they call deliberate meddling by government in the work of the election commission.
“I don’t call these commissioners professional commissioners, because they do not have the capability of holding the elections; their eight month term has proved their incompetency,” said Sediq Patman, deputy head of the New National Front Party.
The National Unity Government (NUG) however said they are committed to holding the elections as scheduled in July next year, but said security threats and challenges regarding the voter list were still serious challenges.  (Tolonews)