News - Afghanistan
The Electoral Reform Commission on Monday welcomed President Ashraf Ghani's decree on the implementation of the commission's proposals for change.
The commission said key recommendations of the commission have been accepted by the president.
This comes after Ghani on Sunday signed a legislative decree accepting seven of 11 proposals for electoral reforms.
"The president in a decree has approved all parts of the electoral reform and has assigned responsible agencies to provide practical steps for the implementation of the proposals and to take action in this regard," deputy presidential spokesman Syed Zafar Hashimi said.
The electoral reform commission said that the key recommendations especially the establishment of a committee for the appointment of new commissioners; drawing up a voters list; and that there should be a 25 percent representation of women in provincial and district councils have been accepted by the president.
According to members of the ERC the electoral calendar will be announced shortly on the back of this move.
Saleh Mohammad Registani an electoral reform commission member said three critical aspects had been approved – especially that of changing the election commissioners on the basis that a new committee will begin its work in this regard "and in an open and competitive process the election commissioners will be appointed."
Changing the structure of the electoral system and the contribution of political parties, the transparency of the commission and the educational conditions of candidates are among the proposals that the president asked the electoral reform commission to reconsider.
"We accept the president's orders to work on the proposals that he did not accept," Registani said.
But some were not happy with the outcome. "If the electoral reforms have been proposed as a package, then all of them must be implemented and must be emphasized because they all have a chain relation," said Yousof Rashid, Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) chief executive officer.
"Three which have not been approved are essential and can change the electoral structure," said Naeem Ayoubzad head of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA).
Nevertheless, Ghani in his decree said the first phase of work by the ERC is approved in the short term.
In this decree Ghani also ordered the ministry of justice and the office of administrative affairs to provide legal frameworks for the implementation of reforms.