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FEFA Seeks Early Approval of Election Law

jandad spinghar fefa afghanistan election iec

KABUL – The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) on Tuesday asked the Wolesi Jirga to act fast on amendments to laws on polls and structure, duties and powers of poll panels. The lower house of parliament is expected to discuss the amended electoral law during its next week’s session. Last year, the assembly passed a law on the structure, duties and powers of the election commission and the complaints commission.

But the draft was rejected by the upper house, Meshrano Jirga. Later, both houses formed a joint commission to resolve the impasse, but the commission has not been able so far to reach a final decision. FEFA chief Jandad Spinghar told a press conference in Kabul the Wolesi Jirga should approve the law on the structure, duties and powers of the independent election commission and the complaints body to ensure an impartial and transparent presidential vote.

He insisted timely approval of the proposed law would help keep the elections process from numerous problems. Spinghar said the parliament should not turn a deaf ear to the concerns of political parties and civil society groups regarding the electoral system. Civil society and political forces should build pressure on the assembly to approve the proposed laws so that they could be enforced, the FEFA chief continued.

He recalled his organisation and civil society groups had asked the election commission to distribute new voter cards after a fresh round of registration, but the commission was yet to turn up with a mechanism in this regard. Spinghar asked security organs to announce their security plans for the elections and make clear how many polling stations they could cover. The election commission has forwarded a list of 7,000 polling sites to security organs for the 2014 presidential and 2015 provincial council polls. (PAN)

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