Caption of the photo here | Credited to photographer
The new commissioners for Afghanistan's electoral bodies – the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) - were announced on Tuesday during an oath-taking ceremony in Kabul.
The new commissioners are as follows:
For IEC they are Najibullah Ahmadzai, Abdul Qadir Quraishi, Maliha Hassan, Wasima Badghisi, Rafiullah Bidar, Gulajan Sayad, and Maazullah Dawlati
For the IECC Ghulam Dastgeer Hedayat, Abdul Basir Fayez, Ali Reza Rohani, Humaira Haqmal and Abdul Aziz Aryayee.
The IEC has seven commissioners and the IECC has five.
Addressing guests at the ceremony, President Ashraf Ghani said elections are the only solution for a peaceful transition of power and that only votes determine power transition.
He said the selection committee scrutinized documents for 700 nominees and 21 had been shortlisted for the two election bodies.
"We conducted interviews with candidates to decide on the most qualified cadres," he said adding that the IEC officials had been nominated in a transparent way.
He also said key to the candidate criteria had been experience, neutrality, ethnicity and qualifications.
He pointed out that over the past 10 years almost $1 billion USD has been spent on the election process in Afghanistan.
He said despite this investment, issues persist but that credible electoral bodies are needed to promote democracy.
Ghani went on to thank CEO Abdullah Abdullah for his role in the process.
In turn, Abdullah thanked Ghani and said it was a historic day for Afghanistan and that electoral reforms were a fundamental goal of the NUG. He said: "I am thankful to Allah that today we achieved this goal."
He went on to say that in line with Afghanistan's constitutional obligations, the NUG is resolute in serving the nation.
Abdullah said election officials need to work regardless of politics, ethnic backgrounds or other issues. He also pointed out that many had been skeptical about the ability of the selection committee "but we proved that we are committed to the process."