Politicians from some of Afghanistan’s mainstream political parties and civic movements on Sunday vowed to pursue a campaign of protests and civic action over election reforms if government fails to take their recommendations into consideration.
“If they (government) do not hear the voice of the people through the political parties, then I assure you that these voices will come out of these halls and conferences,” said Babur Farahmand, a member of The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan
“There is a need that the president issues an order to change the election law,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, chairman of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Mardom-e-Afghanistan party.
In response, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has assured the public that it will consider amendments to the election system if it receives orders from the national assembly and the Presidential Palace.
“Until now the ministry of justice has not received any plan relating to amendments in the election law,” said MoJ spokesman Aman Riazat.
Meanwhile, Mohmmad Nazeer Ahmadzai, a member of Afghanistan’s parliament, has said that none of the parties in Afghanistan has a national platform and that all of these parties are ethnic-oriented parties.
“We are grappling with security issues and other problems today and how is it possible to address this demand by the parties,” he said.
He warned that escalating debates about such issues would have serious repercussions for the country.
But the political parties and members of the opposition groups have been constantly criticizing the Afghan government for not having the will to change the election system.
Core points of recommendations:
• To give share to political parties in the elections
• To change the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) to the single transferable vote (STV)
• To hold elections according to the specific timeline
• To review the establishment of voting stations
• To give political parties the right to oversee all procedures and processes related to elections
The Presidential Palace so far has not commented on the issue.
“Whenever a change occurs and they do not impact the pogroms of the election commission, of course we are here to implement the law,” said Maazullah Dawlati, spokesmant to election commission.
Currently Afghanistan’s election system is the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system.
But opposition groups and political parties have called for a parliamentary system election, where voters can vote on the candidates nominated by the political parties.
This comes a day after twenty political parties and movements issued the joint resolution in which they called for the review of specifying voting centers and the rights of political parties to monitor electoral processes.