Election observer organizations on Tuesday said that some former and incumbent members of the election commissions who are accused of corruption and a role in irregularities in the parliamentary polls have applied to secure membership in the electoral bodies, adding that this needs to be prevented in order to ensure transparency in the process.
Pointing out to the process, the US Embassy in Kabul in a social media post on Tuesday said that “it is proud to join the Elections Support Group in our call for speedy appointment of IEC Commissioners who can restore public trust in Afghanistan’s elections”.
“The US and international community are prepared to support transparent and credible elections in 2019, and to work with the new government that is chosen through that process,” the US embassy said.
“The process [of appointing new election commissioners] should be carried out in line with personality and experience of the applicants in electoral process and it should be found that they are not having any role in corruption,” said Naeem Asghari, CEO of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan. “Those who are appointed in the posts should be trusted by the people.”
According to the special task team for new commissioners’ selection, at least 13 individuals have so far applied for the posts on behalf of political parties. The five-member team is reviewing 150 applications at this stage, officials said.
Among those who have applied for the posts are Abdul Rahim Nawakhtyar, former head of Foreign Relations Department of the IEC, Abdul Aziz Samim, former deputy head of the IEC secretariat, Sayed Ibrahim Sadat, incumbent head of IEC’s IT Department and some journalists as well as government employees.
“There are names of former and incumbent employees from both the election commissions,” said Khalil Raufi, one member of the task team. “We deal with the issue based on the criteria that we have already worked out. We are considering those issues which are defined in the Article 12 of the Election Law.”
Article 12 of the Election Law says that members of the election commissions shall be Afghan citizen, shall have higher education and experience in the relevant field and should be above 35 years old.
The election commissioners were removed from their posts after President Ghani approved new amendment to the electoral law last week. According to Ghani’s decree, the two commissions are run by heads of secretariats of the electoral bodies.
On Monday, the Election Support Group, which is comprised of election donor countries, in a statement, called on the Afghan government to continue with the transparent selection of members of the election commissions.