The Independent Election Commission (IEC) in the last few weeks has repeatedly failed to deliver on its promises regarding the announcement of the 2019 presidential elections, MPs claimed.
A number of MPs and senators on Monday criticized the IEC for not keeping its promises saying that the commission has been unable to put its words into action.
IEC officials recently promised, on a few occasions, to announce the presidential elections schedule, but so far, the commission has been unable to deliver on this.
According to the election law, the IEC has to announce the election calendar no less than 120 days prior to the event – in this case120 days before April 20.
“The election commission is not independent and government or embassies will take the decision,” Gul Mohammad Rasuli, a senator said.
“The reason can be external interference or the commission's inefficiency,” Abdalullah Mohammadi, an MP said.
The institutions overseeing the election process meanwhile said political issues have influenced the announcement of the presidential elections and that the issue is now out of the election commission’s control.
According to election watchdog organizations, due to recent political issues, the authority on deciding about the presidential election schedule has been taken away from the IEC.
“They cannot use their authority and currently are waiting for government’s order,” Sughra Sadat, spokeswoman of the Transparent and Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan said.
“The international community’s decision is also very important. The commission needs to know whether the international community wants the elections to be held on April 20 or wants to delay the elections by making the peace process an excuse,” Naeem Asghari, program manager at the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said.
These remarks about the IEC’s failure to announce the election schedule comes after reports emerged that Washington was reportedly keen to get the Afghan government to suspend the presidential elections in a bid to promote peace talks.
The Afghan government however rejected any such move, or delay in holding the elections.
“Based on the law, the elections calendar should be announced 120 days ahead of elections and now it is too soon,” IEC deputy for administration and finance Mazallah Dawlati said.
“No political pressure or issues around peace have any effect on the commission's decisions and will not have,” IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad said.
The election commission has specified April 20 as the presidential elections date, but as the commission is currently busy with parliamentary elections, analysts say that it will difficult to hold the elections at the specified time.