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Nation Running Out Of Patience: Govt Tells Election Commission

13 Jan 2019 Tolo News

Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish on Sunday criticized the Independent Election Commission (IEC) over its poor management of the works in the election process, saying the IEC has committed an act of oppression against the people of Afghanistan.

Allegations of fraud, violations and corruption against the election commission have raised questions on the image of the Afghan people and the Afghan government in the international arena, said Danish, amid growing calls for systematic reforms within the election management body of the country, which has been under massive pressure over poor management of the electoral process.

The people are running out of patience because of these two commissions, said Danish, referring to the IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

Danish said that there is a need for systematic reform to be put in place within the election commissions.

“The election commissions should know that the people of Afghanistan are running out of patience and they cannot withstand weaknesses and inefficiencies more than this. Now it is up to the national unity government to consider comprehensive reforms,” he said.

Meanwhile, Daud Ali Najafi, the former chief of the IEC secretariat has said that one of the key reasons delaying the announcement of parliamentary elections results is that the government is trying to interfere in the final results of the elections.

“Whatever has been done was carried out in collaboration with the government, now they are delaying the final results for Kabul is because their lists have been sent to the government, so that the government can pick at it, it seems that that the commission has not the authority,” said Najafi. 

Although the IEC on different occasions confirmed reports of irregularities in the election commission, it has however rejected allegations of corruption and government interference in the job of the commission.

“I hope our intelligence organs conduct their investigations and refer those involved in corruption to the fist of the law,” said IEC commissioner, Sayed Hafiz Hashemi.

But, the Afghan government has rejected rumors of meddling in the election  process.

“I can say explicitly that such an interference was not carried out. We never asked the commission to provide us any list or name in any province. We always respected the sovereignty of the commission,” said Mujiburrahman Rahimi, spokesman to CEO Abdullah Abdullah.

This comes a day after the IEC apologized to the people for a delay in the announcement of preliminary results of parliamentary elections for Kabul province, but said the results will be announced in the near future.

The commission said bringing more transparency in the process was the reason for a delay in the announcement.

The election commission has announced preliminary results for 33 constituencies out of 35.

While the election commission said transparency was the reason behind elections results delay, a number of institutions overseeing elections process said “illegal” demands by a number of officials of the commission from a number of candidates, was one of the reasons for the delay.

The institutions on Friday said that secret deals between the election commission and a number of candidates has delayed the results announcement.

“We have been given reports about deals and corruption,” said Naeem Ayubzada, CEO of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.

“There are lots of problems and the commission cannot resolve all of them. I believe that if elections results are announced, it will be followed by lots of complaints,” said Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.

“I hope that the electoral complaints commission fulfills its job properly to make this national process transparent,” said Qazi Abdul Rahim, an MP. 

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