The Independent Election Commission (IEC) deputies and two commissioners on Sunday told TOLOnews that the decision to stamp copies of voter ID cards is illegal and that they are against the move.
The commissioners refused to talk on camera but said the decision was made by President Ashraf Ghani and IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad.
The commissioners said only Sayyad and another commissioner agreed to the decision, but they, the four commissioners, were opposed to the move.
IEC operational deputy head Wasima Badghisi, IEC financial and administrative deputy head Mazaaullah Dawlati, and IEC commissioners Abdul Qadir Quraishi and Maliha Hassan are the four commissioners who oppose the IEC chief and Ghani’s new decision regarding the voter registration process.
The four commissioners have signed a letter in which they said they are against the move. According to them, based on the election law the commission does not have the authority to shift or amend electoral approaches during the election process.
The commissioners said they have signed a letter in front of representatives of the United Nations in Kabul and Shahla Haq, acting secretariat of IEC to announce their disagreement over the decision to stamp copies of voters ID cards.
The IEC Chief however refused to comment in this regard.
“The commission made the decision yesterday and today we informed all centers in Kabul to stamp copies of ID cards after comparing it to the original one,” Awal Rahman Rodwall, head of the voter registration centers in Kabul said.
The issue of stamping copies of voters ID cards was first announced by the Presidential Palace last Thursday and then published on the election commission’s website.
A number of MPs and politicians then blasted President Ashraf Ghani over what they said was an attempt to pressurize the IEC and impose plans on the commission.
The president’s deputy spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi however rejected allegations of interference on the part of the president in the election commission’s affairs.
“The disagreements between them (commissioners) indicate that they heavily rely on government while making decisions,” Naeem Ayubzada, executive director of Transparent Election Foundation said.
A number of analysts and senators meanwhile said any interference in IEC affairs and imposing illegal decisions on the commission will further damage the reputation of this national process.
“This is not an election, it should be named appointments. It is not needed to spend money on such an election process,” senator Farhad Sakhi said.
The new move comes after the IEC extended the voter registration process for another month in cities. The process will soon start in districts across the country.