The Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) said on Wednesday that Afghanistan’s election management bodies, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), are financially dependent on government and the election commissions are not able to spend money without presidential approval.
According to TEFA, it has been two months since the commissions started work but little progress has been made because of their financial dependency on government.
The TEFA report states that meddling in the affairs of the election commission by government officials and politicians has undermined hopes of timely and transparent elections.
According to TEFA, election commissions face the following problems.
• Financial dependency on government.
• Government deliberately neglecting to hold elections on time and in a transparent manner.
• There is still no clear policy on the international community’s involvement in terms of providing technical and financial support.
• Some IEC commissioners attempt to politically exploit the technical process of the electoral process.
“The election has been changed into a political scenario for politicians and other institutions while there is a need for technical cooperation,” said TEFA chief executive Naeem Ayoubzada.
According to TEFA, former IEC commissioners took with them all assets and kept their privileges after resigning from their jobs. But the ex-IEC officials have not commented in this respect.
“1395 (2017) election budget was sent to government by former commissioners of the electoral complaints commission even before the new IEC commissioners started their jobs,” said TEFA spokeswoman Sughra Sadat.
According to TEFA, in order to get the election reform process back on track, government must step up its efforts to hold transparent parliamentary elections.
TEFA also called on the new IEC commissioners to wrap up assessments on certain issues such as the finalization of voter lists, and security of the elections and polling stations.
Despite consistent efforts to get comment from government, TOLOnews was unable to do so.