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Current poll panels can’t fix parliamentary election date: CEO

Current poll panels can’t fix parliamentary election date: CEO

Sep 14, 2015 - 19:49

KABUL (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullahon Monday said a date for Wolesi Jirga (WJ) polls would be announced by new commissioners after reforms in the electoral system.

After a month of discussions with people from different walks of life, the Election Reform Commission (ERC) submitted 10 suggestions to the government and the president has already endorsed seven of them.

The ERC suggested the formation of a committed to introduce new commissioners of the electoral bodies to the government. It is mandatory for the committee to discharge its task.

Javed Faisal, deputy spokesman for the (CEO), told Pajhwok Afghan News the formation of the committee was a government priority. He, however, added the body would introduce new faces to lead the panels that would be given fairly adequate time to set a date for the WJ election.

He added the current commissioners were not in a position to decide on the date for the upcoming parliamentary and district council polls. However, Faisal did not elaborate on the inability of the existing panels to firm up a date.

But Aziz Bakhtiari, the incumbent Independent Election Commission (IEC) head, said they could suggest a date for the elections if the government was ready to hold them.

Earlier, the IEC Chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani had said no power could remove the incumbent commissioners. Although an illegal act could strip them of their power, but that would be fraught with dangers, he observed.

In a decree, President Ashraf Ghani has tasked the IEC to prepare a schedule for the parliamentary polls in such a way that the ERC suggestions could be implemented before the conduct of the democratic exercise.