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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times
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Meeting discusses IEC impartiality, overseeing upcoming elections

KABUL: Presided over by Second Vice President SarwarDanesh, the 5th session of Independent Elections Commission (IEC) joint committee, government and a number of political parties held on Sunday to review political parties’ electoral draft, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported.
During the meeting, a number of political parties’ suggestions on their supervision from the elections process, biometric system of upcoming elections and changing election system from single non-transferable vote (SNTV)system to multi-dimensional representation (MDR) system were discussed, according to the agency. Stressing on using biometric technology during elections, a number of political parties’ representatives asked for effective supervision of political parties on election process, BNA added.
Calling overseeing election process under a specific mechanism the legal right of political parties, head of IEC said due to some issues such as timetable and due performance of the offering company, it was impossible to use biometric technology during elections, the agency went on to say.
Likewise, VP Danesh from among the views presented by participants over the last sessions, presented seven items as the government view and stressed that:
1. The government of national unity calls exchanging views and negotiations with political parties and civil entities on national issues particularly elections a must and stresses in the respect.
2. Protection of IEC’s independency is a principle and government, parties and other organizations’ interferences in election affairs is unacceptable, besides, IEC is obliged to ensure and guarantee the election transparency though a mechanism.
3. The schedule of holding elections on Mizan 28, 1397 is unarguable and the government of national unity is decisive to hold this process on its due time and no risk is acceptable in this regard as well as nothing should be caused to delay the elections process.
4. On parties’ three item draft, the government of national unity is not principally opposed to it.
5. On overseeing elections by political parties, the government of Afghanistan seriously stresses that IEC would provide the ground in the respect based on a specific mechanism.
6. There is no any assurance on related company’s suggestion on biometric draft neither from the view point of time nor technically. At the same time, the government of Afghanistan has always stressed on biometric technology. Therefore, now, if IEC agrees, the government doesn’t have any problem and it asks IEC to provide the ground for using modern technology during upcoming presidential elections.
7. The draft for changing election system from single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system to multi-dimensional representation (MDR) system, besides limitations would have its specific complication and it needs a vast national discussion. Even if the draft is approved through a legislative decree by the president, it would probably be rejected by the parliament. Thus, the best way is that the parliament should decide on changing electoral system. Finally, the series of joint committee sessions on reviewing electoral draft by political parties ended.
The Kabul Times

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