Election monitoring groups accuse the government of exploiting the election process for political purposes.
Selection Of New IEC Chief Stalled As Poll Timeline Looms
The government has started consultations with civil society institutions and other relevant bodies to determine the appointment of a new chairman for the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the presidential palace (ARG) on announced on Monday.
The development comes as the timeline for the nation’s parliamentary and district councils’ elections looms.
After the consultations with the civil society institutions, the appointment of one member of the IEC will be certified in the near future, said President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Shahhussain Murtazawi.
Meanwhile, election monitoring groups have said that the government is trying to exploit the election process for political purposes.
This follows ten days after president Ghani issued a decree ordering the selection committee of the IEC commissioners to appoint a new candidate for the position of IEC chief, however, the selection committee remains caught in a dilemma.
“Last night the second vice-president held discussions with the members of civil society institutions where he urged that a solution to be found to the issue. Members of civil society institutions also pledged to share their views and findings with the government today or tomorrow,” said Murtazawi.
“The fate of selection committee has not been determined so far and it is still in a dilemma. The legal aspects of the presidential decree have not been confirmed,” said Yusuf Rashid, a former member of the selection committee.
Election monitoring groups have accused the government of breaking the law and exploiting the election process for political purposes.
“When the law is violated and efforts are made to influence the process through illegal ways, naturally the question arises about the Afghan government’s efforts to politicize the process,” said Jandad Spinghar, head of Afghan Civil Society Election Network.
The Afghan government has defied the allegations of exploitation of the election process, reiterating the calls for implementing systematic reforms in the elections commission and election law.
“The government does not politically interfere in the electoral process. Based on the president’s order, the selection committee needs to initiate its work to introduce a commissioner of the IEC,” said Jawed Faisal, deputy spokesman to CEO Abdullah Abdullah.
This comes at a time that Afghanistan prepares to go the polls for parliamentary and district council elections in less than eight months.