ECC Reviews Challenges of Provincial Council Candidates
KABUL – On the second day of its open review process, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) on Monday began inspection of challenges from Provincial Council candidates who were disqualified.
While the bulk of the ECC’s two-week review process, which began on Sunday, will be evaluating complaints against candidates filed by the public, another aspect of it will be assessing challenges from Presidential and Provincial Council hopefuls that were deemed ineligible by the Independent Election Commission (IEC). And given the uproar the IEC’s announcement of qualifications received two weeks ago, it is likely that aspect of the ECC’s process may be more significant than expected.
The first day of the review, which is being conducted in front of media, civil society, human rights and political party representatives, saw challenges from the 17 Presidential candidates who were cut by the IEC reviewed by the ECC. Complaints officials said decisions would be publicized within a week.
Monday, the second day of review, saw the ECC shift its focus to challenges from Provincial Council candidates who didn’t make the IEC’s preliminary list. Reportedly challenges from candidates of Logar, Wardak and Kabul provinces were heard. According to election officials, 3,503 people including 323 women filed nominations for the Provincial Council elections in April. But only 2,704 total, and 308 women, made the IEC’s preliminary list.
Those disqualified have publically denounced the IEC’s decisions, maintaining that their filings were completed as required. Many of the eliminated nominees were said to have failed to properly meet the number of supporting voter cards that were required. “The IEC announced that most of our voter cards were fake, but if these cards were fake then upcoming election will not be legitimate,” said Muhibullah Reha, one of the disqualified Provincial candidates.
Other would-be candidates took aim at those who did make the IEC’s cut. “We have documents that prove most of those who qualified are illiterate while the commission removed our names without any reason,” said Abdul Wali Qazizada, another disqualified Provincial candidate. (Tolonews)