The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday announced the schedule for parliamentary and district council elections.
IEC Chairman Yousuf Nuristani told a news conference that the panel made all technical preparations to conduct the election process on October 15, 2016.
He promised mistakes of the 2014 presidential vote would not be repeated. The coming polls would be fully transparent, he assured, claiming the panel had learnt a lot from past experience.
No one would be allowed to interfere in the election process or IEC affairs, Nuristani pledged. “We have also prepared a draft to reform the election system and have shared it with the government and parliament for approval,” he added.
However, he said $67 million was needed to cover expenses of the elections and the government was responsible to provide it.
He said it was government’s responsibility to maintain security for candidates, voters, IEC workers and election materials.
He asked media outlets, civil society institutes, political parties, government organs and people as well as international community to support the election process.
Meanwhile, Nuristani asked all political groups to respect IEC’s independency and prevent any interference in the election affairs.
Nuristani also stressed all measures of the IEC were legal and said, “Based on the law, neither the government can remove us nor we should resign, all our commissioners have legal right to complete their six years of job terms.”
But Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, reacting to Nuristani’s remarks, said the coming elections should be conducted by a new election commission.
“Electoral reform is an important issue that we have been discussing daily. The Afghans remain concerned at the flawed management of the previous elections,” the CEO told a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Some days ago, President Ashraf Ghani announced the parliamentary and district council elections would be held between summer and fall of the coming solar year.
He had said it was IEC’s job to announce the schedule for the election process.