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Electoral reform sggestions to be submitted next week: Panel

Electoral reform sggestions to be submitted next week: Panel

Aug 22, 2015 - 14:58

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Electoral Reforms Commission on Saturday promised submitting next week a set of suggestions based on discussions with people.

Shah Sultan Akefi, head of the panel, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had collected views and suggestions from more than 1,500 people regarding elections reforms from all seven zones of the country.

These people, he said, were members of civil society, political parties and legal experts. He did not go into detail, but hoped the suggestions could pave the way for parliamentary elections.

According to Akefi, 90 percent of the people whose views and suggestions have been obtained said those accused of electoral fraud should be prosecuted.

Akefi said currently 13 million people were eligible to vote, but 21 million voting cards had been distributed. He agreed the problem needed to be addressed. Electoral reforms are a major point of the agreement on the unity government.

Some people suggested the number of polling stations should be decreases, including surge in women seats in Wolesi Jirga if possible. It would be better if election process was conducted on different days in different zones and the election commissions should be held accountable.

Support to corrupt individuals in the past one decade had caused election process unprecedented damage, he believed, adding that some people suggested that a mixed system of election should be introduced.

Akefi said insecurity was the biggest threat to transparent elections. “If there is no security, fraud could not be controlled,” he explained.

Meshrano Jirga Chairman Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, meanwhile, said ERC should have commitment to bringing reforms and transparency to the electoral system.

He made clear the election process could not be conducted in a transparent as long as a political will remained absent. Ezedyar stressed the distribution of computerised identity cards to ensure transparency in the election process.