The ousted chiefs of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Wednesday termed their dismissal as unconstitutional and that they are prepared to appear before a fair and objective court to plead their case which includes allegations of widespread fraud.
The commissioners were dismissed as part of an amendment to the electoral law which was signed off by President Ashraf Ghani and his cabinet on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday, the ex-IEC and IECC chiefs declared the move by the National Unity Government (NUG) as “politically motivated”.
IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad said government hastily dismissed him and the other six commissioners.
He said that government leaders who edge close to the end of their tenure do not have legal authority to dismiss commissioners.
“The process of character assassination should end. President made us take our exam and then we started our jobs,” said Sayyad.
“If there is a system of a jungle, then everything is possible in this country and so far it has gone on in this way. But I am sure that the nation will wake up,” IECC chief Azizullah Aryaee said.
All the commissioners of the two commissions were dismissed on Monday after the election law was amended.
The government has appointed the commissions secretariats to manage the commissions until new commissioners are appointed.
The former chiefs of the commissions said government’s move of handing over the management of the commissions to secretariats is illegal.
The chiefs also accused government of interfering in the affairs of the commissions.
They said instead of dismissing them, government should have dismissed secretariats of the commissions and also provincial chiefs of the commissions.
“Yesterday without paying any attention to security problems, our weapons were taken. I am a Mujahid, I stood against Russia and had the ability to stand against an army, but I respected the law,” said Sayyad.
Following the dismissal of the commissioners, the Attorney General’s Office slapped a travel ban on the commissioners, because they are accused of corruption.
IEC has seven commissioners and the IECC has five.