Officials from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday said they have made some developments in the preparations for the upcoming presidential elections as they have accelerated their efforts for the polls as well as for the provincial councils elections and Ghazni parliamentary elections – all scheduled for September 28.
An IEC official said many vacant posts, including 10 provincial chiefs and technical positions, have been announced and that they will appoint the required personnel in the near future.
Head of the IEC secretariat, Habib-ur-Rahman Nang, said the United Nations will soon introduce four individuals, who have enough experience in elections affairs, for membership of the election commission but he added that the IEC is insisting that the individuals should only have an observatory and advisory role.
“They can help with their experiences, but they will not have decision-making role,” said Nang.
“They even failed to specify a final timetable,” said Mattiullah Ibrahimzai, a former advisor to the election commission.
Meanwhile, Yusuf Rasheed, the CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), said foreign members of the commission should play a bigger role in the electoral process.
“If their technical advises are not heard and they (commissioners) finalize everything and then the process face technical problems, on that time even they (foreigners) will face trouble,” Rasheed said.
The new developments in the election commission happen after on Friday the commission finalized the operational plan and budget for the upcoming elections.
The IEC officials have said that the upcoming elections will cost $207 million.
Some Kabul residents, meanwhile, said the upcoming elections should not face the same fate as the October’s parliamentary elections.
The residents said they want the election commission to hold free and fair presidential elections.
“We voted, but do not know what happened to our votes,” said Sepas, a Kabul resident.
“New faces have come and the past experiences should not be repeated,” said Ali Juma, a Kabul resident.