‘Most Candidates Appeal’ IECC’s Decision to Disqualify Them - The Daily Outlook Afghanistan

Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 18th, 2018

‘Most Candidates Appeal’ IECC’s Decision to Disqualify Them

‘Most Candidates Appeal’ IECC’s Decision to Disqualify Them

KABUL - The IECC said it would start reviewing appeals lodged by disqualified candidates “with links to armed groups” from Monday.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Sunday said that the timeline for disqualified election candidates to appeal the commission’s decision would end on Sunday and final decisions would be made from Monday.
The IECC’s committee tasked to investigate reports of links between some candidates and illegal armed groups initially said 25 people had been dropped as parliamentary election candidates.
The list of names was released on Friday.
But on Saturday the IECC said the decision was not final and the candidates were able to appeal their decision.
However, the move sparked some anger after it was found that some names removed were those of influential former lawmakers and strongmen - who had received many complaints against.
Almost all the candidates who could be disqualified have lodged appeals against the decision, said IEC officials. 
“Some of the candidates whose names are dropped from the list could be reinstated on the list, some of the candidates who were issued warnings could have their warnings reversed and instead face disqualification,” said the IECCs spokesman Ali Reza Rouhani.
“We expect that actions are taken in line with credible evidence and documents available; undoubtedly, there are some elements whether outside or inside government who want to interfere in this respect,” said Mohammad HarounNusrat, a member of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA).
Meanwhile officials from the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) have said that the work of the IECC has not been carried out in line with the electoral calendar and that delays have had an impact on the IECC’s performance.
“We need to prepare the (candidate) list from the beginning, we would need at least 35 days to send the list abroad for printing and bring them back and would need to pack them again and send them to the provinces; it means that this process would need time while we have very little time now. We hope that our colleagues in the electoral complaints commission study the calendar again if they have not studied it correctly; based on the calendar, these are the ones who are supposed to give us the list,” said IEC commissioner Sayed Hafiz Hashemi.
Based on IEC statistics, over 2,300 candidates across Afghanistan have nominated themselves to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for October 20.
The IECC’s special commission started assessing about 200 complaints against hopeful candidates last month. The commission later changed its mechanism of assessment and assessed 137 complaints.
From 137 complaints, the commission disqualified 25 candidates and issued warnings to eight others.
Reports indicate that Fawzia Kofi, an MP from Badakhshan, Allah GulMujahid and Shir Ali Ahmadzai are among the 25 names removed from the list.
“They have made the allegations, but even a child knows the character of Mrs. Kofi. They want to impose political damage to me because of my resistance with the people. They have forgotten that this is not damage this is an honor for me,” Fawzia Kofi said.
“The complaints commission is not independent. They are doing what government orders them. This is unjust,” Allah GulMujahid said. (Tolo news)