IECC to open provincial offices ‘soon’

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has not been able to open offices in provinces about five months beyond the schedule.
IECC’s real job is to assess public complaints about violations in elections by candidates and election officials.
The watchdog has so far been receiving complaints from provinces through local Independent Election Commission (IEC) offices in provincial capitals.
IECC officials say the commission would open its own offices in all provinces “soon” to directly receive complaints and assess them.
IECC secretary and spokesman Nader Muhseni said they had sent a list of 102 commissioners to the Presidential Palace for approval.
He said three commissioners would be appointed in each province and the process would be launched soon.
“These offices will be opened soon as preliminary works are yet to be completed. The approval of commissioners should come from the Presidential Palace so that we complete administrative tasks.”
Muhseni said the complaints commission was currently busy looking for rental buildings to house provincial offices and provide them with required equipment and facilities.
The presidential election campaign entered a third day on Tuesday, with most of the hopefuls addressing big rallies of supporters in Kabul.
Muhseni said they had not yet received any complaint against campaigning.
But a Pajhwok correspondent saw residents tearing down posters of some candidates from their home walls and gates on the campaign’s first day in Kabul's Shehr-i-Naw area. The posters had been pasted on residential houses in violation of election rules.
According to the election schedule, complaint offices in provinces were to be made functional five months ago, but IECC officials cited technical problems for the delay.
Muhseni said the delay in opening the offices would have no impact on the watchdog’s activities.
“We have reached an agreement with the election commission. Under the accord, if someone has a complaint, he/she can register it with the election commission, which will forward that to us. Complaints are often registered against candidates and as long as such complaints start pouring in, we will have our offices opened.”
IECC lacks its own fund to run affairs and is totally reliant on aid-giving agencies.

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