Parliamentary polls might be delayed: Afghanistan’s new CEC

Parliamentary polls might be delayed: Afghanistan’s new CEC

SAM Staff,

A day after he was appointed as the new head of the Independent Election Commission, Gula Jan Abdulbadi Sayyad said there is the possibility parliamentary and district council elections could be delayed for a few months.

He said the commission lost months   in terms of work due to the lack of a leader.

This came after the former IEC chief Najibullah Ahmadzai was sacked by President Ashraf Ghani in November.

In June last year the IEC announced July 7, 2018 as the parliamentary elections date.

“We continue our efforts to appoint new employees and ramp up our work to compensate the time which we have already lost,” Sayyad said. “However, if there is any change in the election date, we will share it with election monitoring organizations, media and support organizations.”

Election monitoring organizations meanwhile called for the IEC to stand united and work together in order to ensure elections are held on time.

“Nothing will happen if the IEC commissioners are divided and have internal problems and continue to criticize each other and spend most of their time focusing on their disagreements,” said Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.

“The Election Commission has lost a lot of time. The (election) commissioners are expected to work together to hold a transparent election,” said Janan Abdulrahimzai, a member of Afghanistan Civil Society Elections Network (ACSEN).

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive office said there is no disagreement between the CEO’s office and the Presidential Palace on holding the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“There is no rift between the National Unity Government leaders regarding parliamentary and district council elections,” the CEO’s deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal said. “It is better that the elections should be held on its scheduled date so that people can trust in the process, and by this, provide legitimacy to the system.”

According to the IEC, international donors have provided $30 million USD for the voter registration process and that the process will start in the near future.