A document, in TOLOnews’ possession, indicates that five commissioners from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) have called for the IEC Chairman Najibullah Ahmadzai to be fired over a range of issues including poor performance and misuse of authority.
According to the document, the commissioners have blasted Ahmadzai for his poor management skills and have warned that if he stays on as head of the commission, the election process will not move forward as planned – stating he should be fired.
The document shows that the five commissioners, Abdul Badi Sayad, Wasima Badghisi, Maliha Hassan, Mazaullah Dawlati and Abdul Qadir Quraishi, this week reviewed Ahmadzai’s activities and have concluded that he has worked against national interests, against the election law, has been negligent in his duties and has misused his authority.
The commissioners believe that as long as Ahmadzai is in that position, the election process will move at a slow pace. They said the president needs to nominate a replacement for Ahmadzai.
“Based on article 16 of the election law, eight issues have been mentioned that can result in dismissal of the commission members and chairman. In three of them, the commission members have no authority (to dismiss the chairman) and in the other five they have the authority. It means if the chairman is part of a party while he is on duty, or has a terminal illness, if he is absent for a long time, hasviolated the law, has not observed national interests or has behaved inappropriately, then it is possible to fire him ,” Lawyer Mohammad Sadiq Baqiri said.
The document indicates that the decision regarding Ahmadzai was taken in his presence, but Ahmadzai and another commissioner Rafiullah Bidar have not signed the document. There are seven commissioners in total, including Ahmadzai.
“If he is dimissed, the president should introduce someone else from the selection list. If there is no one qualified on the list, then aselection committee should be established,” executive director of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan Yusuf Rasheed said.
IEC members refused to comment about their decision.
Institutions overseeing the election process say due to poor management in the IEC the upcoming elections might not be held in the next two years, but election commission secretary Imam Mohammad Warimach said they will provide a voters list within the next two weeks and will hold the elections using new ballot cards.
“The commission decided that new cards should be issued based on the identity cards and the election should be held,” said Warimach.
The decision by the commissioners regarding Ahmadzai comes in the wake of recent reports that indicated Ahmadzai had resigned as a result of government and donor countries pressure.