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IEC Non-Voting Int’l Members Accused of Concealing Electoral Violations

(Last Updated On: November 16, 2019)

Maulana Abdullah, a Commissioner of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday claimed that the two non-voting international members of the Commission are concealing electoral violations that are happening at the IEC.

According to Commissioner Abdullah, the IEC non-voting members and UNAMA technical advisors, who are visiting the Election Commission, are either showing the electoral challenges upside down, or they are silent on issues that are unlawful.

Recently, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) formally complaint to the leadership of IEC over Commissioner Abdullah’s threatening behavior towards the Data Manager of the IEC National Tally Center. In a letter, UN said, Commissioner Abdullah has made derogatory slurs about Mr. Ali’s religion and ethnicity.

Commissioner Abdullah immediately rejected the letter, and said false information about him given to the UNAMA. The Commissioner further argued that elements within the UN organization work for a certain candidate to silence him. On Saturday, Commissioner Abdullah again called on the UNAMA to present documents on the allegations the organization has made.

The Presidential Candidate Council (CPC) on Friday sent a letter to the UNAMA, saying that the UN mission did not maintain its neutrality when it sent a letter the IEC to complain about the behavior of an election Commissioner.

“Thank you Presidential Candidate Council (CPC) for the open letter. Be 100% assured of UNAMA’s strict impartiality and independence. We support independent electoral institutions and an open process, not any political faction. Any person saying they have ‘channels’ into UNAMA is mistaken. They do not,” UNAMA tweeted.

In addition, some Afghan twitter followers are complaining for being blocked by UNAMA news following their criticism of UNAMA statements, tacitly asking for the removal of an IEC Commissioner.

“An international institution like UNAMA, whose primary goal is to promote the freedom of expression and access to information, must tolerate dissent,” said Fahim Dashti, an Afghan journalist.

In response, UNAMA said: “Thank you UNAMA news followers and all backing constructive debate. Together, let’s defend freedom of expression with zero tolerance for hate speech. Let’s stop abusive, threatening and vulgar social media posts. Criticism is healthy. No to hateful insults and wild allegations.”

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