Some parties warn of rethinking cooperation with IEC

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Some political parties and processes have warned of halting cooperation with the Independent Election Commission for what they call non-implementation of their suggestions.

Mohiuddin Mahdi, a representative of the Jamiat-i-Islami Afghanistan (JIA) complained at a joint meeting of political parties and processes the government and the IEC had ignored their ‘very important’ suggestions about transparency in upcoming polls.

“We recently met the president and the IEC members. Unfortunately, they did not pay attention to our demands. If they continue ignoring our suggestions, we will rethink our cooperation with the commission,” he warned.

Political parties’ rivalries in elections guaranteed transparency in this process, he said, adding democracy could not be ensured without the participation of political groups in the polls.

Mahdi asked the government to hold transparent elections on schedule, as well as give political parties a larger role in observation of all the democratic exercise.

Asadullah Saadati, a representative of Hizb-i-Wahdat Islami (HWI) party, said, “Ignoring our proposals about the election process would damage legitimacy of the polls.” The government should get advantage of political parties’ suggestions if it was really interested in a bright future for the country, he argued. Participants of the meeting, in a resolution, said votes of political parties should be transferred to the list of candidates and the elections should be held until 1st October.

Providing facilities for refugees, internally-displaced persons and people living in unstable areas to cast their votes, creating an observation room for parties during the election process and fair division of polling stations were other demands of the meeting.

A day earlier, IEC Chairman Abdul Baday Sayyad had said they used suggestions from political parties and civil society organisations to ensure the best possible conduct of the election process.

Political parties and civil society activists should launch campaigns for encouraging people to take part in the voter registration process so that no eligible person was deprived of voting in the elections, he said.

The voter registration process began in provincial capitals on Saturday. Wolesi Jirga and district council elections are scheduled for October 20. The presidential ballot will follow in 2019.