Twenty eight political parties have said if their demands aren’t met they will stop cooperating with the IEC.
Political Parties Call For Role In Election Process
Officials from Afghanistan’s mainstream political parties on Sunday reiterated calls to the Afghan government and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to pave the way for them to play a greater role in the election process.
These parties threatened to suspend their cooperation with the IEC if the election management body failed to address their demands.
They alleged that the IEC has been playing a double game in dealing with political parties.
The election strategy for political party participation was sent to government, the international community and the IEC months ago, but to date, no action has been taken, officials said.
On Sunday representatives from about 28 political parties and movements gathered in Kabul and urged the Afghan government and the IEC to address the issue.
According to officials from these parties, discussions were held with President Ashraf Ghani. They said Ghani was not focused on the issue.
“The election commission tells us that your demand is legitimate, but they (IEC) tell the president that this plan is not practical, the IEC has adopted a dual approach towards the political parties, but we will terminate our relations with the Independent Election Commission if our demand is not met,” said representative of Jamiat-e-Islami party Muhaiyuddin Mahdi.
“Participation of political parties in the elections is an essential element, if representatives of the political parties come to parliament, the problems which today we face in decision making will be resolved,” said senator Abdul Sattar Khawasi.
The officials said that by allowing political parties to play a role in elections, transparency and credibility will be ensured.
“Representatives of government and the commission should come and talk with us, we have legitimate options on the table,” said the representative of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Bashir Ahmad Tayanj.
“The government, political parties and the independent election commission are the three pillars which should be for elections, if political parties are not there, holding credible elections will not be possible,” said MP Assadullah Saadati.
This comes just six months ahead of scheduled parliamentary and district council elections.
The IEC however said the demand by political parties is legitimate, but that in order to make this happen, the election law would need to be amended. They said there was no time for this.