Election candidates disqualified: 57
9 June 2009 - A total of fifty seven candidates from more than 3,000 for this year’s elections in Afghanistan have been disqualified from taking part in the polls.
The Electoral Complaints Commission made the announcement today on the candidates who do not meet the qualification requirements for the presidential and provincial council elections on 20 August.
Three presidential and fifty four provincial council candidates have been barred.
“As a commission, we are very much guided by Article 33 of the Constitution that guarantees Afghan citizens the right to elect and to be elected. Pursuant to the Electoral Law, the ECC formally notified the Independent Election Commission earlier today of those individuals who are not been included in the final list of candidates to be published on 12 June, “ said Grant Kippen the Chairman of the Electoral Complains Commission.
The challenge period began on 16 May and closed on 23 May during which time the ECC received 302 challenges from 31 provinces against presidential and provincial council candidates.
According to the commission around fifty of the challenges are related to presidential candidates with the remaining dealing with provincial council candidates.
Candidates were challenged on a variety of criteria including dual nationality, alleged criminal convictions, and for having links with or commanding illegal armed groups.
All of those persons who were subject to a valid challenge were also provided with an opportunity to respond to the challenge.
The ECC has also issued warning letters to Government agencies related to the resignation of officials under Article 15 of the Electoral Law which requires the officials to step down from their Government position if they are seeking election.
“Today marks the formal end of the challenge process and the ECC is now moving forward with complaints and will be doing so through the remainder of the electoral process,” Mr Kippen said.
“The key for us going forward will be to provide for those that are going to file complaints is to provide us with sufficient information or evidence with respect to violation or an offence so that we can properly investigate,” he added.
“We are acutely aware of the concerns of the Afghan voting population have with respect to the candidates, but the work of ECC deals very specifically with the law, it is really up to us to adjudicate and investigate the law as it is stated. It is really up to voters now once the final list of candidates is published on 12 June to determine who they feel they should support," said Mr Kippen.
The ECC is now writing up its decisions on each of the challenges to be posted on the commission’s website.
By Kangying Guo, UNAMA