Yet another deferral in election

Sunday, 01 April 2018 03:19 Written by  Read 66 times

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) estimates that the parliamentary and district council election will be held in late October. This is the third time IEC postponed the ballot date, and if there is another, even a month more delay, it will become impossible to carry out the election.
Taking into account the climatic conditions of Afghanistan, it is not feasible to hold election in many areas of the country after October, firstly because IEC and the government won’t be able to conduct election in the cold regions, and secondly even if they open polling centers in those areas, there will be a very low turnout, especially now as people have lost their faith in election in the wake of fraud in 2014 presidential election.
The government and IEC should hold election at least on the last deadline than further defer it. Till then, another major thing they should do is to revive a relative public trust in election. Government leaders, whose loyalists have badly hurt the democratic process through vote rigging, in particular bear the responsibility to ensure that election takes place on time and with full transparency, and that there is high voter turnout.
If the election commission, in cahoots with the government, once again delays the ballot, the concerns about the lack of political will in the government to hold election will come true. In that event, how and what will government leaders present to the people as their achievements in the upcoming presidential election, while they have not been able to hold the election in their five-year term. Another concern is about the presidential election. When the government can postpone the parliamentary and district council election for several years in one name or another, there is no guarantee that it will also not delay the presidential election.
Besides voicing skepticism over government’s will, it is the responsibility of political parties and civil society organizations in promotion of a democratic ritual to ratchet up pressure on the government to conduct the election. All sides seeing election as the sole, legitimate way for transfer of political power should raise their voice and impel IEC, government and their international partners to carry out the election.

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