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President under fire for election meddling

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AT-KABUL: The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, says that the government’s disinterest in introducing new commissioners of the commission has created obstacles for its works, adding that the government was responsible for all the challenges of the commission in investigating complaints.

Basir Faez, a member of the commission said Wednesday that provincial commissioners should do the first assessment of complaints, but now all the complaints are sent to Kabul because there were no commissioners in the provinces and had doubled their responsibilities.

“We face a big challenge as we cannot carry out the first assessment of the electoral complaints. All the complaints were sent to Kabul and this has faced us with an impasse. We ask the government to respect our decision and support our independence,” said Faez.

The commission sent a list of 102 people to the presidential office to approve new provincial commissioners some two months ago, but President Ghani has so far approved a few of them.

The complaints commission said all the standards were observed in selecting these people, but did not know what the government wanted to do.

More than 600 complaints have been so far sent from provinces to the complaints commission.

Ghani’s spokesman, Shah Hossein Mortazavi, said they were waiting for the president’s return from Brussels. He had earlier said that the persons who are introduced as new commissioners, should have all the selection standards.

Electoral experts say that they are worried if people are selected as new commissioners based on relations to work in favor of certain people that would hurt the election’s transparency.