Electoral fray: Civil society sets terms for Taliban

KABUL (PAN): Civil society organisations on Monday suggested Taliban be allowed to take part in elections if they respect the national constitution and pledged protection of achievements in the sphere of human rights.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) should demonstrate its impartiality and involve civil society if there were pressures from the government or political opposition, civil society leader Ahmad Shah Stanikzai told a press conference.
He asked the government and political parties to avoid interfering in IEC’s affairs and instead facilitate the panel in discharging its duty.
He added the Taliban could contest the elections like other political parties if they embraced the Constitution, worked for promoting the national interest and respected human rights.
Another civil society activist, Zahra Sapar, said the IEC should accept candidacy of the people who respected all laws of the land. She asked the government to be impartial and not to misuse state machinery for or against any candidate.
In a statement after the media briefing, civil society organisations asked Afghanistan’s international allies to support democracy through supporting the election process.
They stressed the Afghans, especially women and youth, should actively participate in the elections for the sake of the country’s reconstruction, security and supremacy of law.

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