Biased members still on IEC: Civil society

KABUL (PAN): Two leading civil society groups on Monday said their concerns about upcoming elections had increased due to lack of transparent and effective guidelines and the presence of biased commission members.
In a joint statement, Afghan Anti-Corruption Network (AACN) and Anti-Corruption Watch Organization said the nation was witness to fraudulent presidential and provincial council elections last time.
It added political appointees from the past still existed in certain key positions on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and as well in the Secretariat, calling them the main cause of fraud in the previous polls. 
“Under Article 6 of the Election Commission Law, the commission’s chairman, his deputy, secretary and Secretariat head are obliged to perform their jobs neutrally, responsibly and in full conformity with the Constitution, Election Law and other applicable laws. “
Under Article 45 of the Election Law, a candidate for the presidential vote should submit serial numbers of one hundred thousand voter registration cards. A candidate for provincial council is required to submit 200 to 600 voter cards to the election commission. 
The groups alleged several candidates were trying to obtain old serial numbers of voters from the Election Commission and most probably misused them in their favour.  “There is speculation that certain commission employees may sell them to candidates. It will absolutely endanger the legitimacy of the upcoming elections.”
The AACN and ACWO) asked the election commission to grant full attention to such fraudulent activities and not allow such practices take place for the sake of transparency.
“To prevent any possible deceptive action, the commission is requested to publish the serial Nos. of the voter registration provides by the candidates on relevant websites. Similarly, copies of the cards should not be accepted and instead original should be acquired.”  
AACN once again urged the Independent Election Commission to respect the Constitution of Afghanistan, Election Law and all other applied Laws and maintain neutrality, saying the Independent Election Commission is expected to prevent all kinds of frauds to safeguard legitimacy of elections.
The network also called on political party, national and international bodies to closely watch the process.

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