ETWA Optimism & Concerns over Changes in (IEC)
The Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) welcomes the President’s attention to electoral reforms, while voicing concerns over the recent changes made in the Independent Election Commission (IEC) without regard to an accurate and comprehensive assessment.
ETWA assessed the recent decision of the President to dismiss the IEC’s Chairperson in light of the current Elections Law and electoral principles, and presents the following remarks:
First, the decision appears to be in conformity with article 16 (5) of the current Election Law to have been requested by the IEC. But there is no mention of the reasons for dismissal in the order. That being said, if the Chairperson is accused of corruption or misuse of power, he shall be suspended from duty until the judicial and justice organs review allegations and issue a decision. If the Chairperson is accused of negligence in routine work /weak performance, he shall only lose his position as the Chairperson but still remains the member of the commission. Secondly, under article 16(3) of the Elections Law, in case of dismissal, the President shall appoint, within 7 days of the dismissal date, the new member from amongst the remaining nominees in the list provided by the Selection Committee with due consideration to gender and ethnic composition. Whereas, the President asked vaguely in his order from the relevant entities to introduce a candidate for the IEC vacant position.
ETWA believes that bypassing elections laws by the government when dealing with electoral issues will complicate the situation affecting the independence of the electoral bodies and diminish public confidence in elections and democratic process in Afghanistan.
ETWA suggests any government’s decision in relation to Election Management Bodies should take place in light of electoral principles and adherence to the independence cialis prix of IEC to give rise to optimism to electoral reforms and reduce concerns about the state’s meddling in election affairs.