Afghan political leaders stress transparency in elections process

26 Aug 2012

Afghan political leaders stress transparency in elections process

KABUL - Afghan parliamentarians and political party leaders, who met in Kabul today to discuss the challenges faced by the Afghan parliament, stressed transparency in the elections process for strengthening democracy and preventing any political crisis. 

Speaking at a meeting organized by the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan Organization (FEFA), which is the largest election observer group in the country, the speakers also called for a “stronger political opposition” in the Afghan parliament.

They also said the parliament lacks a standard mechanism to monitor performance of the Government.

A member of the National Coalition, Mahmood Saiqal, said a "stronger legitimate political opposition” in the Afghan parliament is needed to better monitor the Government performance. The Coalition makes the largest political opposition in Afghanistan.

While emphasizing transparency in elections processes, Mr Saiqal said, “There is need for a nationwide public mobilization campaigns to acquaint people about the elections process and the importance of their active participation for effective institutionalization of democracy.”

FEFA Director Jandad Spinghar said the civil society wants to help the Afghan parliament carry out its fundamental duty to monitor the performance of the Government by collecting comments and suggestions of political parties and civil society organizations.

A Member of Parliament, Sayed Alimi Balkhi, said the parliament lacks a process to document corruption cases of Government authorities and the monitoring so far has been carried out on based on rumours and gossips.

“Since we don’t have documented evidence, we can’t hold the authorities in question accountable,” said Mr Balkhi, adding that ethnic and regional biases are hampering the monitoring role of the Afghan parliament.

Speaking on the occasion, a representative of the Rights and Justice Party called for increased support of the civil society to political parties and vice versa to better advocate along with parliamentarians for better monitoring and promoting accountability.

Representatives of some other political parties demanded an election system based on political parties for better accountability and performance monitoring.

FEFA is organizing another similar discussion on Wednesday to discuss the issues relating to the elections in Afghanistan.