Five days after the dismissal of all commissioners of the two election commissions, government on Saturday kicked off the selection process of new commissioners for the electoral bodies.
The 12 commissioners were dismissed on February 12 after the approval of the amendments of the election law.
Government has asked political parties and institutions involved in this process to introduce their candidates for the elections commissions within the next seven days.
Based on the new amendments, each political party registered with the Ministry of Justice can introduce one eligible candidate and election observer organizations can introduce 15 candidates.
Government statistics show that 72 political parties ae registered with the Ministry of Justice and 72 candidates will be introduced by them plus 15 others from the elections-involved institutions.
Based on the amendments, presidential candidates can vote to 14 candidates and at the end and the president will choose the 14 candidates as new commissioners and secretariats who have gained the highest votes.
“Seven candidates will be appointed for the Independent Election Commission, five candidates for the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission and two othersfor heads of secretariats of the commissions,” said Omid Maisam, deputy spokesman for Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), meanwhile, said those candidates who are introduced by political parties should not have membership of those parties.
Yusuf Rasheed, the CEO of FEFA, said there is no selection committee for appointing the commissioners this time and that they are optimistic about the future of the election commissions.
“President (Ashraf Ghani) will vote as a presidential candidate likewise other candidates. It means he does not have the right to appoint the commissioners. After the vote, the president has the right to appoint, based on an order, those who have gained the highest votes,” said Rasheed.
Following the dismissal of the commissioners, the Attorney General’s Office slapped a travel ban on removed members of the election commissions as they are accused of misuse of their authorities.
According to Presidential Palace, the two commissions are temporarily run by heads of the secretariats of the commissions.