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Taliban shuts down ‘unnecessary’ election commission, peace ministry

The Taliban has dissolved a number of “unnecessary” ministries and electoral bodies, including Afghanistan’s two election commissions. The group plans to replace them with a “grand council” structure, a spokesman said.

The decision to scrap the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaint Commission was reportedly taken on Thursday, but announced by government spokesman Bilal Karimi on Sunday. The state ministries for peace and parliamentary affairs have also been shut down.

Describing the commissions as “unnecessary institutes for the current situation” in the country, Karimi said that the “Islamic Emirate [would] revive” them in the future “if we ever feel a need.”

Formed in 2006, the IEC panel was tasked with administering and supervising the country’s elections, from the presidential and parliamentary polls to provincial council races, according to the commission’s still operational website. A number of election officials were killed over the years prior to the Taliban takeover in attacks attributed to various armed groups.

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The panel’s former head, identified only as Aurangzeb, told AFP that the Taliban had “taken this decision in a hurry” and warned that the move “would have huge consequences.”

If this structure does not exist, I am 100% sure that Afghanistan’s problems will never be solved as there won’t be any elections.

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According to Halim Fidai, a senior politician in the toppled regime who governed four provinces over the past two decades, the decision showed how the Taliban “does not believe in democracy” and “gets power through bullets and not ballots.”

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Meanwhile, the Taliban’s Deputy Minister of Information and Culture Zabihullah Mujahid was quoted by a local news outlet as saying on Sunday that the bodies were dissolved “due to economic woes” since they “were a burden on the government.”

The Taliban is working on creating a structure of administration featuring a “grand council and other common councils,” Mujahid told the news outlet, which also added that the group has directed internal affairs bodies to relocate the staff of the dissolved ministries and commissions.

The group previously closed down the former Western-backed government’s women’s affairs ministry, replacing it with the ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice.

https://ift.tt/3Fup4rF 26, 2021 at 09:04PM
from RT – Daily news

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