Afghanistan probes election commissions after firings

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FILE - In this July 15, 2018, file photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Afghan government has fired its election commission, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. The move by Ghani’s administration comes more than three months after chaotic parliamentary elections -- the results of which have still not been announced -- and ahead of July’s controversial presidential vote. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Afghanistan’s attorney general has launched an investigation into allegations that the Independent Election Commission and a separate complaints commission misused their authority during last year’s parliamentary elections.

The October elections were marred by chaos, and the full results have yet to be announced. The government announced the investigation on Wednesday, a day after it fired the 12 members of both commissions and barred them from leaving the country.

President Ashraf Ghani has given politicians and civil society members one week to nominate new election commission members.

Afghanistan is set to hold a presidential election in July, as the talks between U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban scheduled to take place in Doha on 26 of February. The Taliban has announced their team to negotiate with US in the upcoming talks.

The statement issued by the Taliban states that the negotiation team will be led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai while Mawlavi Zia Ur Rehman Madani, Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Sheikh Shahabuddin Delawar, Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor, Mullah Abdul Manan Omari, Mawlavi Amir Khan Mutaqi, Mullah Mohammad Fazil Masloom, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Mawlavi Mati Ul Haq, Mullah Mohammad Anas Haqqani, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Mawlavi Mohammad Nabi Omari, and Mulalh Abdul Haq Wasiq are the members of the negotiation team.

Mullah Mohammad Anas Haqqani one of the negotiating team member is in the custody of the Afghan government. So far, the the Afghan government, which has been largely sidelined in the talks, rejects that idea.

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