Abdullah Speaks Out Against Ghani's Approach to Electoral Reform

News - Afghanistan

Saturday, 11 April 2015 19:34 Last Updated on Saturday, 11 April 2015 22:01 Written by Sharif Amiri

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has spoken out against President Ashraf Ghani's approach to electoral reform, calling the commission he formed last month a violation of the national unity government agreement.

The Chief Executive's office on Saturday said that the work of the electoral reform commission will not start until the commission is formed according to the political agreement made during the creation of the national unity government.

Meanwhile, officials from the electoral reform commission have claimed that Abdullah's opposition is grounded in disagreements between he and the president over issues separate from electoral reform.

"The commission has not been formed yet, and the presidential decree that has been issued is against the political agreement," Abdullah's deputy spokesman Asef Ashna said on Saturday. "The work of the Electoral Reform Commission will not start until the commission is based on the political agreement of National Unity Government."

One of the main problems Abdullah is said to have with Ghani's reform plan is the personnel of the commission. Abdullah's office has reported that Shukria Barekzai was removed as the Chair of the commission. However, Barekzai has not confirmed that and recently said that the commission would soon begin work.

"Reform must be brought to the electoral system, and the electoral process after this must not be a political project for individuals," Barekzai said.

Electoral monitoring groups have pushed for reform, but expressed dismay about the lack of political will behind it. "We are missing the opportunities and we have not done anything yet," Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan chair Muhammad Naeem Ayoub Zada said. "The issue of disagreement over this commission has resulted in the NUG leaders disputing many other issues."

The Electoral Reform Commission was created prior to the trip of NUG leaders to the United States, but with over 20 days passed since its creation, the commission still has not started work.

Source : tolonews[dot]com
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