Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has stepped up his push for electoral reform. Speaking at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, a Jihadi leader and co-founder of Hizb-e-Wahdat Islami, on Friday, Abdullah reaffirmed that the very formation of the national unity government was predicated on the assurance of electoral reform.
Abdullah has called for the immediate organization of an electoral reforms commission, like the one agreed to by he and President Ashraf Ghani back in September, when they first agreed to form a coalition government. However, President Ghani has not signaled when he plans to form the new commission.
“Nothing but transparent elections and complete reforms in the election system and organizations would be satisfying for the Afghan people,” Abdullah said.
Despite calls for electoral reform from the Chief Executive, Parliament and civil society groups, top officials at the Independent Election Commission (IEC) have pushed back against the reform agenda. Meanwhile, the Presidential Palace as largely remained silent, only speaking on the subject to assure that, eventually, reforms will be made.
Abdullah’s deputy, Mohammad Mohaqiq, also spoke at the event on Friday, emphasizing the importance of electoral reform before the upcoming parliamentary elections. “Everyone, and our president, are ready for reform of the election law and the electoral organizations and transparent elections in the future,” Mohaqiq said.