Pajhwok Afghan News

Corrupt election workers to be shown the door: Nang

KABUL) has identified its employees accused of corruption at different levels and pledged to dismiss them if found guilty.

IEC Secretary Habib Rahman Nang during an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said that weak administration by the previous election bodies was obvious. The process had been in trouble from the beginning until the announcement of Wolesi Jirga election results and even the election outcome was not announced in line with the schedule, he added.

He said after continued concerns and objections by election candidates, political parties and civil society activists, the government began overhauling the electoral bodies, something impossible without amending the electoral law.

He pledged to reform the election commission by fighting corruption, appointing patriotic and honest people to regain public trust.

He said one of the steps towards reforms and revamping of the commission would be dismissal of corrupt persons.

“Some employees in higher, middle and lower ranks who pushed the last year election into crisis would be removed and their contracts would not be renewed,” he said.

Nang pledged to appoint committed and qualified persons instead of corrupt individuals.

Biometric system

Nang said using biometric system in the election process was seriously considered in amending the electoral law. “It is obvious to all that using biometric system in the last election was not effective and it instead created more problems.”

He said efforts were underway for preparing a comprehensive plan to ensure biometric system was effectively used for transparency in the election process.

About attendance of election workers, Nang said the workers’ attendance was recently made electronic based as part of administrative reforms for better performance and workers’ identification.

He said the electronic attendance system had been installed at eight points which scanned workers eyes, fingers and bodies before allowing them entry into the IEC.

Nang called observation of election process as important for its credibility and said, “We want the media and election oversight institutes not to publish rumors that confuse the public and if they need any documents for evidence based work, we can provide that.”

The results of Wolesi Jirga elections

In response to a question about the delay in the Wolesi Jirga election results announcement and its consequences for the next presidential elections, Nang said, “The delay in announcement of Wolesi Jirga election results directly affect the presidential election,” he said.

He said the IECC had been requested to share its review of complaints with the IEC as soon as possible so the IEC would finalize its decision and announce the results.

The IECC has promised to share its review results from provinces with the IEC until April 14, he said.

The IEC has so far revealed final Wolesi Jirga results from Laghman, Daikundi, Samangan, Jawzjan, Bamyan, Parwan, Uruzgan, Zabul, Nimroz, Kapisa, Panjshir, Sar-i-Pul, Daikundi, Farah, Ghor, Balkh, Paktika, Herat and Takhar provinces as well as from the Hindu minority.

However, the results of nine provinces and Kuchis (nomads) electoral districts are yet to be announced.

Suggested budget for next presidential election

Habib Rahman Nang said the next presidential election was estimated to cost $192 million but the budget had not been final and the technical team was still working on it.

In response to a question about the 2014 elections that cost $127 million, he said, “In 2014 we had two elections but in 2019 we have four elections which need more budget.”

Pointing to the election schedule, Nang said work on preparing the schedule was ongoing and it would be announced 120 days ahead of the Election Day according to the law.

The article 71 of the election law says, “The Commission shall announce the election date at least (180) days before the Election Day. Conducting by elections shall be an exception to this provision. (2) The Commission shall publish the Electoral Calendar at least (120) days before the Election Day,”

Independency of the IEC

About the independency of the IEC members, Nang said, “I can assure people that there is no pressure from the Presidential Palace, the CEO and other politicians since the last one month; we do our work according to the law.”

He said he would do his work according to the law no matter he was in the job for one day or years.


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