Tense political situation amid unknown fate of election

Monday, 25 December 2017 03:37 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 176 times

The currently tense political situation in the country can further postpone the already long-delayed parliamentary and district council election, which seems to have completely fallen off government’s list of priorities. While the country is only a few months away from the election date which the government had announced for the last time, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) is still without a chairman and the fate of the head of IEC secretariat remains unknown. There is zero coordination in the election commission, as some electoral commissioners called upon the president in a press conference to appoint a new individual as IEC secretary, while the sitting secretary there stressed he has not been dismissed. Such lawlessness at a key institution like the Independent Election Commission can well describe the government’s will to prepare for the election. 

 

In addition to other requirements, there needs to be a strong political will in the government to carry out election, something which has not been noticed so far. The government’s handling of election-related issues arouses suspicions. When the appointment of an election commissioner takes months, and when the Independent Election Commission operates with no leadership, how one should believe in the possibility that election will be held on the announced date. The growing disagreements within the government can further delay the election because the longer they continue, the less both the people and government will have the opportunity to think about election, a situation where election no longer will remain a top priority. 

The civil society organizations should not forget election amid the rising disagreements in the government, and need to use all legal means to impel the government to hold election. It is not very reasonable to expect the current government to hold a transparent election, yet the damage of no election at all is more than having a relatively transparent election because no election means a step backward, a scenario which Afghans never want to experience. 

It is the responsibility of the international community, as it considers itself a defender of democratic values, to help Afghan government, and also press it if necessary to conduct election. The government should not be allowed anymore to seek flimsy pretexts for delaying and ridiculing election as a key democratic principle.

 

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