Taliban government abolishes Afghan electoral commission – News

“There is no need for these commissions to exist and function,” a government spokesman said.



By AFP

Published: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 19:57

Last update: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 19:58

The Taliban have dissolved the Afghan Election Commission, a panel that oversaw elections under the previous Western-backed administration, an Islamist government spokesman said on Saturday.

“There is no need for these commissions to exist and function,” Taliban government spokesman Bilal Karimi said, referring to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.

“If we ever feel the need, the Islamic Emirate will revive these commissions.”

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The Taliban seized power in August as a Western-backed government imploded in the final stages of a US military withdrawal.

Created in 2006, the IEC was mandated to administer and oversee all types of elections, including presidential ones, according to the commission’s website.

“They took this decision in haste…and dissolving the commission would have huge consequences,” Aurangzeb, who led the panel until the fall of the previous regime, told AFP.

“If this structure does not exist, I am 100% sure that the problems of Afghanistan will never be solved because there will be no elections,” said Aurangzeb, who, like many Afghans, only has one name.

Halim Fidai, a senior politician from the previous regime, said the decision to disband the electoral commission shows the Taliban “does not believe in democracy”.

“They are against all democratic institutions. They get power by bullets and not by ballots,” said Fidai, who has served as governor of four provinces over the past two decades.

Before the Taliban took power, several officials of the electoral commission were killed by extremist groups.

Karimi said authorities also dissolved two government departments this week – the Ministry of Peace and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

The Taliban had already shut down the Ministry of Women’s Affairs of the former administration and replaced it with the Ministry of Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice.

This ministry gained notoriety during the Taliban’s first stint in power in the 1990s for harshly enforcing religious doctrine.

The group is lobbying the international community to restore billions of dollars in suspended aid and has promised a more moderate rule this time around.

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