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Statement on Preparations for Parliamentary Elections
Released by the Office of the Spokesman to the President Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

02/26/2005

Presidential Palace, Kabul -Following is the statement of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan regarding preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections:

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is committed to the holding of credible parliamentary elections as soon as possible. The date of the elections will be determined by the Joint Electoral Management Body, which is tasked with holding the elections and consists of members of the Independent Electoral Commission and the United Nations.

The Government is providing full support to the JEMB so that adequate preparations are in place for the parliamentary elections. The fact that thousands of candidates are expected to contest parliamentary elections in multiple constituencies makes the parliamentary elections a complex undertaking.

The JEMB made a presentation to the Cabinet during its February 14 meeting on the status of the preparation of the elections and requested Cabinet's decisions on a number of issues, including the electoral system, constituency boundaries, population figures and participation of Kuchis and refugees in the elections.

In the same meeting, the Cabinet affirmed the electoral system under the Electoral Law which provides a voter the opportunity to vote directly to the candidate of his or her choice. On the constituency boundaries, the Cabinet noted that there were significant number of disputes about the number and boundaries of districts. In light of Article 90 of the Constitution, the Cabinet decided that the issue will be referred to the Wolesi Jirga for resolution. Meanwhile the Cabinet requested the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court with regard to the constitutional implications of the matter. On refugees, the Cabinet decided that they should be provided the opportunity to participate in the elections and requested the JEMB to make a presentation on the operational feasibility of it next time. Finally, the Cabinet established a special committee to study options for population figures and the number of seats for Kuchis.

The next Cabinet meeting on February 28 will study the report of the special committee on the population figures and Kuchis, the Advisory Opinion of the Supreme Court with regard to district shura elections, and the operational plan for participation of refugees in the parliamentary elections.

The Government hopes that decision on these issues will pave the way for the JEMB to declare the date of the parliamentary elections soon.

 

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