KABUL - Twenty-eight people have been suggested to President Hamid Karzai, who will pick nine of them as Independent Election Commission members, Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said on Sunday.
A joint commission of both houses of parliament approved on July 15 a new election law, envisaging the creation of a committee to introduce Electoral Complaints Commission and ’IEC members to the president.
Under Article 8 of the relevant law, the committee will include parliamentary speakers, the chief justice, civil society representatives, human rights campaigners and other officials.
Due to differences, civil society groups have not yet named their representatives for the committee, which jerked into action last week to propose IEC picks.
Muslimyar, who also heads the body, told reporters of the 345 candidates for IEC members, 269 met the required terms and conditions and submitted their applications to the committee.
Twenty-eight of them were shortlisted and recommended to the president today, he said, explaining six of the candidates were women.
The nominees include six Pashtuns, five Tajiks, four Uzbeks, as many Hazaras and one representative each of Syed, Aimaq, Nuristani, Turkmen, Baloch and Pashai clans, as well as Arabs and Hindus.
Muslimyar said the nominees, with graduation or higher qualifications, only had Afghanistan’s nationality. Enjoying clean reputations, they are not linked to war crimes and have no affiliations with political parties.
He urged the president to maintain the gender and ethnic balance in IEC commissioners’ appointment. “For its part, the committee neither accepted pressures nor political expediency in naming the 28 individuals.”
In response to a query about the IEC chief’s criticism of the selection body, the Senate chairman said: “He should have expressed these reservations while setting us a deadline for passing the law. The problem is such reservations are voiced when one’s position is i8n danger…”
On Saturday, the IEC head called for amendments to the law regarding the structure, responsibilities and powers of the poll panels. Fazal Ahmad Manawi said the law had certain legal flaws that should be removed through amendments.
“There are tens of weaknesses in this piece of legislation…but we should highlight the clauses that are in conflict with the constitution and basic democratic norms,” he said. (Pajhwok)