Final List of Candidates Complete, Changes Made: ECC

KABUL: (MEP) – After a two-day delay, election officials have announced the final list of candidates for the spring elections is completed. They also indicated there would be some changes made from the preliminary list announced last month

After over two weeks of reviewing complaints by the public registered against candidates and challenges from candidates who were previously disqualified by the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) completed its work on Monday, two days after the originally scheduled date of November 16.

“The final list of Presidential and Provincial Council election candidates has been prepared and the ECC will now send the list to the IEC on Tuesday,” said head of the ECC Secretariat Nader Mohseni.

Once the IEC receives this list, it is expected to be announced without further delay.

“Once we receive the list, we will put it in our system and will announce it,” head of the IEC Secretariat Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail said, tolo news reported.

The ECC’s review process began behind schedule after the IEC announced the preliminary list of candidates three days late. With 650 complaints lodged against candidates as well as 17 Presidential and some 400 Provincial Council challenges from candidates looking to be readmitted into the elections, the ECC has had its hands full.

According to Mohseni, changes were made for the final list, including the elimination of candidates who made the preliminary list and readmission of some who did not.

“There are some changes in the final list; names of some election candidates have been removed and some other names have been included from the preliminary list,” he said.

He also added that some of the complaints brought against candidates included ones related to criminal cases. Although he did not go into further detail, he did say the ECC would explain the decisions it made after the list was announced.

Complaints related to human rights violations legally required the involvement of judiciary representatives, so it is likely if any of them were registered they played a role in the delay of the ECC’s process.

Election officials were forced on the defensive when criticisms mounted over the weekend about them not meeting the election timeline schedule they had set. The officials argued the integrity of the process needed to be prioritized over all else.

Whether or not they will apply the same principle when it comes to transparency in explaining the reasoning for the cuts made to the final list remains to be seen.

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