Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Unity Govt. Has No Intention to Hold Polls: Watchdogs

Unity Govt. Has No Intention to Hold Polls: Watchdogs

KABUL – Election watchdogs on Wednesday claimed the unity government “has no intention to hold Wolesi Jirga and district council elections despite announcing a date.
Naeem Ayoubzada, Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) head, said the lack of government’s plan, the lack of US’s and EU’s interest and no preparation to use technology were challenges that remained unaddressed in the lead up to the elections next year.
He was speaking at a gathering titled “1397 Parliamentary Elections, Challenges and Solutions’.
Ayoubzada said measures which should have been done as of now as part of preparations for the elections had not been carried out.
“We see no agreement in the approach to the elections from the government, electoral commissioners, political parties and civil society institutes. There is no possibility of having transparent elections.”
He alleged the government was deceiving the people by announcing a date to hold the long due elections.
Ayoubzada also said electoral watchdogs were expecting nothing from the Presidential Palace, which he said continued to play games when it came to elections.
The TEFA head also criticized the lack of cooperation from the international community, saying international partners like the Afghan government were also trying to “take advantage of the Afghanistan election process."
Yousuf Rashid, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), also spoke on the occasion.
He said if works of the election bodies progressed in the current sluggish way, the parliamentary polls wouldn’t be held in time. “And if parliamentary polls are postponed, the presidential elections will also be delayed.”
However, CEO Abdullah Abdullah office said the unity government was committed to holding the parliamentary elections on its due date.
Javed Faisal, deputy spokesman for CEO, said: “The unity government keeping in view public expectations and needs is committed to holding the elections on specified time, ensuring security and providing budget to the electoral bodies.”
He said electoral bodies were the real possessors of elections and the bodies had taken necessary preparations for the ballot with government support.
The Wolesi Jirga and district councils’ elections were first set to be held in 1394 solar year, but they were postponed amid political wrangling, and lack of financial resources and technical facilities.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has recently announced Saratan 16 of solar year 1397 (July, 2018) as the date for the parliamentary and district council elections. (Pajhwok)