The Independent Election Commission says it is “too late” to address the demands of political parties regarding the October elections.
Political Parties, IEC, Govt Meet Over Election Issues
Members of major political parties and movements met with government representatives and election commissioners on Saturday to discuss .their demands regarding the upcoming elections
However, the three-hour meeting ended without any resolution having been reached, a participant at the meeting said on condition of anonymity.
Political parties have called for a number of changes, including to the election system, the use of a biometric system at the polls and the right to monitor elections by political parties.
Sources said there was a difference in views between political parties, government and the Independent Election Commission (IEC). They said based on this it has been decided to hold another meeting on Monday.
“(The political parties demands include) a change in election system, the use of biometric system for a transparent election and third, a strong monitoring process by political parties for all electoral processes. Government is trying to kill the time,” said Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, a spokesman for Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan.
The IEC has already said that it is too late to address the demands of the parties.
“It was decided to hold another meeting on Monday to discuss issues around a change in the system and its impacts on the October elections. The issue will be assessed by the commission and a report of it will be sent to government,” said Sayed Hafizullah Hashemi, the IEC spokesman.
Meanwhile, electoral monitoring organizations said groups are trying to manipulate the upcoming elections.
“As far as we have assessed, some individuals are trying to drive the elections towards a crisis. Meanwhile, other efforts are being made to manipulate the elections. These two are big concerns for us,” said Mohammad Naeem Ayubzada, head of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.
This comes after Afghanistan’s main political parties on July 14 claimed the current voter registration process was riddled with irregularities which would lead to a crisis in the country.
The remarks were made at a gathering in Kabul involving Jamiat-e-Islami, Hizb-e-Islami, Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Mahaz-e-Milli party, Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan and a other parties.
Members of the parties held discussions on issues related to the elections and then issued a statement in which they called on government and the Independent Election Commission to suspend the voter registration process and all other electoral activities.
The political parties lodged a range of demands.
They called for changes to be brought to the electoral system, the suspension of the voter registration process, rolling out a biometric system for voter registration and declaring each province a single constituency.
According to the IEC, so far around nine million people have registered to vote in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.