Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 15th, 2018

MPs to Summon IEC Officials over Ongoing Problems

MPs to Summon IEC  Officials over Ongoing Problems

KABUL - Members of the Wolesi Jirga (the Lower House of Parliament) on Saturday raised concerns over a range of issues including the existence of corruption in the IEC, the contract issue around the purchase of electronic equipment for the IEC and the inactivity of IEC officials.
The concerns also come days after the site operational chief of the Independent Election Commission was suspended over allegations relating to corruption.
“Not only does the process (election) need to be reviewed, but countless challenges exist,” MP Chaman Shah Etemadi said.
“An election commission commissioner has asked for money from someone in a voice recording,” MP Abdul Qadir Qalatwal said.
Some other MPs meanwhile said they are worried about the lack of cooperation between IEC officials and government and are also worried about secret talks being held between a number of government officials and IEC members.
“There are discrepancies between the electoral commissions’ comments. The second vice president says that we cannot hold the district council elections, but the commission says that we will hold parliamentary and district council elections,” Abdul Sabor Khedmat, an MP said.
“Continued meetings are being held during the days and nights with parts of the government body and they discuss who should come to parliament as peoples’ representatives in the future,” Sadiqi Zada Nili, another MP said.
To address the MPs concerns, parliament speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi tasked parliament's judicial and legal commission to share the concerns with IEC officials and summon them to parliament to respond to MPs questions.
“The central audit commission should invite the IEC and speak with them in detail in this regard,” said Ibrahimi.
Meanwhile, some other MPs voiced their concerns over the possible amendment to the retirement act regarding security institutions' officers.
Based on the officers retirement law that was approved on 2009, security officers will retire at the age of 65, but now government says they want to amend the law and decrease the retirement age to rejuvenate the security forces.
The MPs however said government, by implementing the new outline, wants to remove the officers from security forces who had gained ranks during the Mujahedeen government.
“Based on the current situation, I think the outline (proposed amendment) is not appropriate and your (MPs) concerns are understandable,” Ibrahimi said.
“You (president) by age of 80 can handle the presidency, but why should a general at the age of 50 and with good experience stay at home,” MP Saleh Mohammad Saleh said.
Defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri commented on the proposed amendment and said after the plan has been completed, to change the law, it will be shared with the people.
“This (new outline) is being worked on and after that it will be shared with the National Security Council, the president, the Council of Ministers and parliament and if they accept it, it will be shared with all in detail,” defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.  (Tolonews)