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Opposition Wants IEC-Related Law Passed Without Delay

Afghanistan Election

KABUL – An alliance of opposition parties on Tuesday accused President Hamid Karzai of refusing to sign on law on the authority and structure of the Independent Election Commission. Instead the president was seeking to maintain the status quo and hold next year’s presidential and provincial council elections in compliance with a legislative decree, the coalition alleged.

On Sept. 24, 2012, the Wolesi Jirga approved the law regarding the power, composition and responsibilities of IEC and Electoral Complaints Commission. But the Meshrano jirga rejected the legislation. A joint commission later patched up rifts between the two houses of the parliament on the proposed law, paving the way for its approval. After the differences were resolved and the law passed, it was sent to Karzai.

But there are reports that the president, instead of signing the draft into law, intends sending it to the Supreme Court for interpretation and legal advice. At a news conference in Kabul, opposition leaders asked the president to stop dithering on the issue and sign the law without further delay.

Fazlur Rahman Orya, speaking on behalf of the alliance, said it appeared the president wanted to conduct the polls under a legislative decree in violation of democratic values.  He added the tenure of several judges, including the chief justice, had already expired almost two years ago but they continued to hold their offices. (PAN)

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