Independent Election Commission Meets in Bamyan
May 24 2012 -- The Independent Election Commission (IEC) travelled to Bamyan where it held a consultative meeting on proposed amendments to the Election Law. At the same time, the head of the IEC, Fazl Ahmad Manawi, called on the international community to provide technical and financial support.
The proposed amendments are aimed at bringing more clarity to the election process. Some features include clarifying the role of political parties, financial issues, and the mechanisms for dealing with electoral complaints. He explained that there is also a draft provision for there to be an Afghan United Nations representative in the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). The draft amendments will be submitted to Parliament for approval after more of this type of public consultation. So far, the IEC has held meetings in four provinces and it will visit four more.
The event was attended by a broad cross section of civil society. Along with distributing copies of the electoral law, the IEC also urged attendees to fill out a questionnaire.
Many of those present expressed the wish that the next election could be better managed. There were numerous complaints about the shortage of polling stations throughout Bamyan as well as a lack of ballot papers. Others complained that sometimes polling stations were hard to reach. There was also a call for a demographic census to be undertaken.
The Governor of Bamyan, Habiba Sarabi, thanked the IEC Head for visiting Bamyan. Because many residents live in hard-to-reach villages in the mountains, she too called for more polling stations throughout the province.