Wed, Sep

Due consideration of electoral reform suggestions stressed


The Democracy and Elections Committee on Monday said the Electoral Reform Commission should share its suggestions with the relevant organisations before submitting them to the government.

The reform panel, which embarked on its work last month, will submit its proposals to the government next week. Its report is based on suggestion for reforms from the elevant agencies and the people.

The Democracy and Elections Committee, headed by Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), welcomed the work done by the commission so far.

It said before its suggestions go to the government, they should be shared with election-related agencies so that they get the assurance that all proposals had been taken into consideration.

Discrediting the previous voting cards, work on new ID cards distribution, preparing a list of voters before elections and providing appropriate plans in a short time are the first set of suggestions that the panel will present.

Introducing an answerable mechanism for members of the elections commissions and responsibilities of the committee that selects members of the panels are among other suggestions of the panel.

The Democracy and Elections Committee also urged the government to seriously consider suggestions of the reform commission and pave the way for their implementation.

Naeem Ayubzada, TEFA head, told journalists in Kabul in the past 10 months the issue of elections was delayed and it did not appear to be a top priority for the government.

“Although we did not agree on composition of the reform panel, but still different agencies involved in elections tried to closely cooperate with the commission by presenting their suggestions of great technical help,” he remarked.

But Ayubzada voiced concerns that differences among the panel members had hindered the first set of suggestions to be finalised.

The TEFA head believed one of the suggestions of the panel should be to specify the fate of elections commissions’ members. “We want changes in their structure, individuals, mechanisms and legal frameworks not only for Kabul but also for provinces."

The suggestions should be presented by the reform panel and the leaders should take decision on them, he proposed. The reforms commission did not have the authority to take decisions on the fate of election commission members and the government should announce its stance on the matter, he said.

Ayubzada added given the current situation in the country, the dates for parliamentary and district council elections should be specified as soon as possible to end uncertainty in this regard.