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Taliban Dissolves Afghanistan's Election Commission, Saying 'There Is No Need'

Established in 2006, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission was assigned to administer and supervise all types of elections in the country. (file photo)

The Taliban has dissolved Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), a panel that supervised polls during the previous Western-backed administration.

A spokesman for the Taliban-led government in Kabul announced on December 25 that the IEC has been scrapped along with the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission and two ministries.

"There is no need for these commissions to exist and operate," spokesman Bilal Karimi said, adding that the Taliban “will revive these commissions, if we feel a need.”

The Taliban also dissolved the Ministry for Peace and the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs, Karimi said.

The four institutions employed more than 1,000 people in total, including 582 people that held full-time jobs with the IEC's central and local bodies across the country.

Established in 2006, the IEC was assigned to administer and supervise all types of elections in the country, according to the commission's website.

During its insurgency, the Taliban was accused of using violence to disrupt elections, calling them un-Islamic. Several election workers were killed, political rallies were targeted, and even ordinary people were attacked by militants just for casting their ballots.

The hard-line Islamist group, which took over Afghanistan in mid-August, had already shut down the former administration's ministry for Women's Affairs.

Instead, it set up a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice” in the building that once housed the Women’s Affairs Ministry.

The ministry for the promotion of virtue earned notoriety during the Taliban's first stint in power in the 1990s for harshly enforcing religious doctrine.

Based on reporting by dpa and