Political parties and political coalitions on Monday asked the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) to change the election system and give parties a greater share in the elections.
Representatives of 28 political parties and political groups held a protest meeting in Kabul and said that the current election system is not inclusive.
Currently elections are not party-based but rather people vote for individuals.
These parties and groups warned they would continue their protests in Kabul and in provinces if government and the IECC do not take action regarding their demands.
The political parties said that they had finalized a six item proposal with President Ashraf Ghani regarding the issue of a greater role for political parties in the elections and for transparent elections and a decision was made on the formation of a commission comprising members of the political parties, IEC, government and UNAMA, but that government has failed to comply with its promise related to the issue.
“Political parties approved a joint plan related to the election system named as (MDR) on 29 Sawr 1397 (19 May) and it was decided to hand over a written version of the plan to the quadrilateral commission, but unfortunately government ignored the issue and it has so far not taken action to create such a commission,” said a representative of Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan Muhayyuddin Mahdi.
“We want to express our grave concerns to the Afghan government. We call on the international community to consider the suggestions made by the political parties,” said a representative of Junbish-e-Milli party.
The political parties have suggested that each province should be one constituency in the elections and that political parties and coalition groups be allowed to announce a list of their candidates in each province and that the political parties may introduce up to 250 candidates across Afghanistan.
“Every eligible Afghan is allowed to file nomination papers from the address of a party or independent,” said Obaidullah Barakzai, a representative of Hizb-e-Islami that is led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
“Our expectation from government is not to oppose the fundamentals and basics of the democracy,” said Assadullah Saadati, a representative of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan.
“Election system must be party-based elections, the parties which have influence must be given the share to determine a powerful parliament,” said a representative of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Mardome-e-Afghanistan Sharifi Balkhabi.
The government has not commented on the issue.