Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

Karzai Signs the Election Law, Afghanistan Prepares for Free and Fair Elections

Karzai Signs the Election Law, Afghanistan Prepares for  Free and Fair Elections

KABUL - The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday announced that President Karzai has signed the Election Law containing 16 chapters and 80 articles.

The IEC has welcomed the approval by President Karzai and added that the Commission will finish the remaining election works in accordance with the newly endorsed Law.

The Commission officials called the implementation of the Election Law as an important step toward holding the Presidential elections in the country.

"The IEC welcomes the approval. And, I on behalf of the IEC promise the people that elections will be held in accordance with the new Law," said Noor Mohammad Noor, spokesman of the IEC.

Meanwhile, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) and civil society organizations said that the ones, who are going to contest the elections, should begin their campaigning.

The FEFA added that while campaigning, the candidates should specify their strategy to fight corruption, ensure security and improve the economy of the country. Only listening to the politicians and then voting for them is not the solution for fighting the challenges. The citizens should know whom they are voting for and what their chosen candidate will do if he/she wins.

"People are eagerly waiting for the campaigning to start. The citizens are demanding that in the campaigns the candidates should mention their strategy and ways to bring peace and prosperity into Afghanistan," said Nader Naderi, the head of FEFA.

A number of civil society organisations pointed out the change in the mindset of people. The organisations said that the citizens are becoming aware day by day and they will vote only for plans and not faces.

"The candidates should present their plans in front of the citizens. The plans should be of such kind that it has support of from the international community as well post-2014," said Mohammad Naaem Nazari, Director of Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN).

According to the schedule of the IEC, registration of candidates for both Presidential and Provincial Councils elections will start after two months. However, the IEC officials mentioned that there will not be any legal hassle if the candidate wishes to share his/her plans or strategy with the citizens.

Previously, the IEC had announced that if the Law was not ratified by the Parliament soon enough, the Commission would have to conduct the elections according to Presidential Legislative Decree, as was done in 2009.

Last week, in reaction to this announcement, several political parties came out saying that transparency in the elections would be compromised if the Decree was relied upon.

Members of the National Front Party (NFP), the National Coalition Party (NCP), and the Right and Justice Party (RJP) called for the approval of the Election Laws - the IEC Structural Law and the general Election Law - and said that there would still be enough time to implement them. The parties emphasized the importance of having a law governing the elections in place, cautioning that the Decree is an open invitation for malpractice in the elections.

Holding of free, fair and transparent elections has been one of the biggest aspirations of the people of Afghanistan and international community.

International institutions particularly the UN had demanded quick approval of the Law by the President and said that it as an important step for holding the elections. The Presidential election is scheduled to take place on April 5, 2014. (Tolo News)