News - Afghanistan
The Council of Ministers has approved the new election law without an Election Complaints Commission (ECC), assigning the powers that would belong to the ECC to the Supreme Court, according to the Independent Elections Commission (IEC).
IEC chief Fazel Ahmad Manawe said at a press conference in Kabul that the draft of the law was approved after three meetings of the ministers, with amendments.
"The draft was discussed in three sessions of the Council of Ministers and finally it was approved on Monday. We expressed our technical visions but it was up to the cabinet to decide about it. It will be sent to parliament for approval by end of the week," Manawe said Tuesday.
Under the changes introduced by the Council, the Supreme Court will be the only authority to investigate and follow up the election issues that would normally be overseen by the ECC.
"The Ministry of Finance had somehow changed our plans but after long discussion, the Supreme Court has been assigned to form a new election court to follow up any complaints," he added.
Afghan political parties and activists criticised the decision, warning of an unfair election.
"There is a double game being played in the election process and it will harm the confidence of the Afghan people on that process and legislation," executive director of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan Jandad Spinghar told TOLOnews.
National Coalition of Afghanistan spokesman Sayed Fazel Sancharaki told TOLOnews that the ECC with its two foreign advisors was intended to ensure transparency and its omission was threatening and dangerous.
"What was decided by the Cabinet shows that the president is not willing to launch a transparent and fair election. He tries to influence the election organs to harm the credibility of the elections in the country," he said.
"If a government organ oversees the election results, it will be against the Afghan constitution. It should be the Election Complaints Commission that does that," a spokesman for the Right and Justice party said.
The parties urged the parliament to take the necessary decision and observe Afghanistan's constitution and the rights of the people.