KABUL, March 26 (Xinhua)– The chairman of Afghan election commission has resigned, the country’s Presidential Palace said on Saturday.
“Chairman of Independent Election Commission (IEC) Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani offered his resignation to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the president accepted his resignation,” the palace said in a statement.
The announcement came as the country is preparing for the upcoming parliamentary elections which is scheduled to be held on Oct. 15.
According to Afghan laws the elections for the Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of parliament had to be held in early last year. But the government failed to hold the polls due to insecurity and political issues over reforming the country’s electoral laws and election system.
Over the past year, some members of Afghan civil society, local independent election watchdogs and some political parties have urged Nuristani to quit his office before the October polls. They blamed Nuristani for his failure to curb the widespread fraud during the 2014 presidential elections.
However, the statement noted that the decision was made by the former IEC chief as he”realized the political and social situation in Afghanistan, for national interests and for restoration of stability and prosperity of the Afghan people.”
The first parliamentary election in the post-Taliban country was held on Sept. 18, 2005 while the second took place on Sept. 18, 2010.
Members of the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga will be elected to serve a five-year term.