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Govt lacks political will to reform electoral system: Jamiat-i-Islami

Govt lacks political will to reform electoral system: Jamiat-i-Islami

Aug 20, 2015 - 16:38

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Jamiat-i-Islami political party on Thursday alleged the government lacked the political will to reform the electoral system of the country.

The observation committee of the party held a meeting on “Transparent Election Key to Political Stability”. The meeting aimed at a reviewing last presidential election and exploring roadmap to avoid rigging in upcoming ballots.

During the meeting, members of political parties, civil society networks and election watchdogs presented their suggestions regarding reforms in electoral system. The suggestion would be shared with the Electoral Reform Commission (ERC).

Sayed Burhanuddin Khalili, head of the observation committee, said: “We don’t believe government officials are serious to reform the ballot system in the country. There is lack of commitment among leaders to overhaul the election system.”

 He, however, demanded the ERC to work in coordination with civil society organizations and other watchdogs so that the target of a transparent election system in the country could be achieved.

He said last presidential elections were the worst in the history of the country, which gave birth to current economic, security and political challenges.

Ahmad Saeedi, a political analyst, said the ERC was comprised of representatives of government leaders and it was a political body that had no self powers.

The analyst said such commission should be apolitical with self-powers so they could work independently produce result.

Earlier, the ERC chief had said the government was committed to bring drastic reforms to the election system to ensure free, fair and transparent ballot.

The commission formally began getting suggestions from political parties, civil society organizations, women rights activist and international stakeholders regarding reforms to the electoral system.  

Shah Sultan Akefi said the commission wanted to make the process transparent and the government was committed to bring reforms to the body.

The ERC reassured to evaluate all conditions for which election commissioners got nominated and would incorporate changes to the laws in order to ensure neutrality during elections.

The commission was formed following a presidential decree and officially started work last week. The panel is headed by Shah Sultan Akefi.