The Wolesi Jirga on Monday approved two important articles of the proposed election law concerning the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system and ballot counts at voting centres.
The draft law, having 17 chapters and 67 articles, was referred to Wolesi Jirga -- or lower house of parliament -- in December 2012.
Legislative Commission head Qazi Nazeer Ahmad Hanifi said the panel’s discussions showed 11 articles of the draft law were controversial.
They draft law proposes vote counts at provincial offices, but legislators said ballots should be reckoned at voting centres, he said.
But Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Fazal Ahmad Manawi insisted since past experience showed votes were not properly counted at polling centres, so they should be brought to provincial offices.
Observers could not wait for the vote count at polling centres, a process that attracted crowds and created disorder, he told legislators.
But a lawmaker from Herat, Naheed Farid, suggested the ballots should be counted in a way acceptable to all candidates.
“There are long distances between polling stations and provincial capitals. We could not arrange convoys to protect ballot boxes on their way to provincial capitals,” he argued.
Of the 150 MPs present, 126 raised green cards in favour of vote counts at polling centres.
With the draft law proposing a Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system, civil society, political parties and some Wolesi Jirga members suggested a joint electorate regime. But later, 120 legislators raised their green cards in support of the SNTV regime.
Other controversial articles of the draft law would be discussed in coming sessions, said 1st Deputy Speaker Mirwais Yasini.