Afghan Biographies

Independent Election Commission 2019 (IEC)

Name Independent Election Commission 2019 (IEC)
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Members and Positions appointed 2019 and before
History and Biodata

IEC Commission as of 20190531:


1. Mrs. Hawa Alam Nooristan (20190531)
Vice Chairperson:
2. Esmatullah Mal
Secretary and Commisssioner:
3. Musafer Quqandi
4. Awrang Zib
5. Mohammad Hanif Danish Yar
6. Mawlana Abdullah
7. Mrs Rahimia Zarifi

IEC deputy spokesperson on Tuesday, Mar 5, 2019  announced that Mrs. Hawa Alam Nuristani and Esmatullah Mal have been appointed as head and deputy head of Independent Election Commission respectively.

Based on President Ghani’s decree, the new IEC members are: 

•    Sayed Esmatullah Mal, 36, Pashtun, who got nine votes out of 17 is from Balkh province. He has a master’s degree in law (other source: Bachelor in engineering).  (selected for the period of five years)

•    Mawlana Mohammad Obaidullah, 36, Tajik, who got nine votes, is from Panjsher province. He has a bachelor’s degree in law from Kabul University.(selected for the period of five years)

•    Awrang Zeb Aurwang Zeb Owrang Zib, 39, Pashtun, who got eight votes, is from Paktia province, has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture.(selected for the period of five years)

•    Mohammad Hanif Danishyar Hanif Daneshyar, 35, Hazara, who got seven votes, is from Ghazni province. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology (other source: pholosophy and sociology) . (selected for the period of five years)

Mohammad Hanif Danishyar has been accused of being forged his identity card, said Chief Executive Office.  A domestic newspaper, Itlaat-e-Roz has found out documents, which show that Danishyar has not completed eligible age to be selected as an electoral commissioner. According to the electoral law, the qualified age of the election commissioner should be at least 35. The information shows that Danishyar has provided two deferent type of Tazkira (ID cards), which shows high discrepancy of his age.(20191217)

•    Musafir Qoqandi, 36, Uzbek, who got eight votes, is from Faryab province and has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. ((selected for the period of three years)

•    Mrs. Hawa Alam Nuristani, 46, Pashtun, who got eight votes, is from Nuristan province. She has a bachelor’s degree in law. (selected for the period of three years)

•    Mrs. Rahima Zarifi, Tajik, who got six votes is from Ghazni province. (other source: She has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and hails from Balkh Province). (selected for the period of three years)

New non voting  international IEC members of Afghanistan (20190528):
Mrs. Ivilina Robinson
Biodata Ivilina Robinson.
Mrs. Ivilina Aleksieva-Robinson was a Chair of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Bulgaria in the period March 2014 – March 2019. For the time of her term CEC-Bulgaria organized and conducted 5 national elections, 2 national referendums and many by-elections and local referendums. Before that she was Executive Director of the Institute of Modern Politics – a non-profit organization, which works in the field of monitoring the legislation according to the principles of transparency, publicity, accountability and civil participation in decision making. She was an advisor to the Minister of Emergency Situations; a lawyer; a member of the CEC (2005). Her professional experience includes advising NGOs working in the field of human rights protection, good governance and anti-corruption. Mrs. Robinson is an author of analyzes and proposals for new/ amendments of the electoral legislation. She participated in Civil Councils to the Parliament Committees for the preparation of the Election Code now in force; in round tables and discussions on electoral matters; in preparation of statements on conducting of the presidential elections 2011 for Constitutional Court cases and others. Mrs. Robinson was a member of the Executive Board of the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) for the period 2016 – 2019 and a President of ACEEEO for 2017. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Association of the World Election Bodies (A-WEB) for the period 2017 - 2019. She also participated as a speaker in the events in the field of election processes organized by ICPS, the Venice Commission to the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/ Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, EC, international IDEA, observed elections and others.

International Commissioner:


Ahmed Issack Hassan
Ahmed Issack is a Kenyan National who is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Certified Public Secretary( CPS).He was the former chairman of Kenya’s Elections Commission for close to 8 years ( 2009-2017).  Prior to that he has served as a commissioner in the constitution of Kenya Review Commission ( CKRC) and as a legal consultant to UNDP Somalia in the Somalia Constitution Making Project. He has practiced law in his Country specializing in Constitutional and Civil law as the Managing Partner of his law firm Ibrahim , Issack & Co. Advocates.

He has over 25 years of progressive experience in legal practice, Election Administration and public service .

He has a Bachelors Degree in Law(LLB) from University of Nairobi,Post graduate Diploma in legal Practice from Kenya School of Law and Diploma in Advanced Public Administration Management from Galilee Insititute of management in Israel .

He has extensive experience in Elections at both National & International levels. He has served as Chair of the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA) based in Ghana and the Commonwealth Electoral Network (CEN) based in London. He was also a member of the Executive Board and Chair of the Audit & Oversight Committee of the Association of World Electoral Bodies based in Seoul. He has observed Elections in several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe , Australia,North and South America. He was the Head of Mission of the Africa Union Elections Observer Mission to Nigeria Elections in 2011, the EISA Observer Mission to Ghana’s Elections in 2012 and IGAD’s Observer Mission to Djibouti’s Elections in 2016.

He has received several National and International awards for his work in Elections. He received the ICPS International Electoral Award in 2013 for Conflict Resolution and Elections management. He was also conferred the Order of the Chief of the Burning Spear, CBS, First Class , Civilian in January 2018 by the President of Kenya for Distinguished services rendered to the Nation.


Head of IEC: Habib-Ur-Rahman Nang Habib Ur Rahman Nang, 44, Pashtun, hails from Laghman Province and is a Physician. He was appointed as head of the secretariat of the Independent Election Commission, according to President Ghani's decree.(20190304)



Afghanistan's Attorney General's Office announced the investigation late on February 12, 2019 after all 12 members of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) were sacked for allegedly abusing their authority. Now secretariat head, Ahmad Shah Zamanzai from the IEC is in charge of the commissions.(20190214)

Independent Election Commission appointed 2016 ( IEC Commission) :

Elected as
IEC Head: Najibullah Ahmadzai (20171012) President Ashraf Ghani fired his own hand-picked Independent Election Commission Chairman Najibullah Ahmadzai on November 15, 2017;  Gula Jan Abdul Badi Sayad Abdul Badi Sayyad (20180131)
IEC Deputy Head:
Maazullah Dawlati (20180619)

Operational director of the Independent Election Commission:
Obaidullah Niyazi had been arrested by the National Directorate of Security over alleged bribery (220181201)
IEC operational deputy: Mrs. Wasima Badghisi (20171207, 20180131)
Head of the IEC’s field operations department:
Zmarai Qalamyar (20180806)
IEC finance and administrative deputy: Abdul Qadir Qurashi,
IEC secretary and spokesman of the IEC: Abdul Badi Sayad, Gula Jan Abdul Badi Sayyad Gulajan Abdulbadi Sayad (20161127, 20170218, 20170416) Maazullah Dawlati (20180131)
Deputy Spokesman of IEC: Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi (20181112)
Head of IEC secretariat: Imam Mohammad Warimach (20170301, 20170909) fired over ‘corruption and poor performance’.(20171021) Shahla Haq as Acting Head of Secretariat for the commission (20180117) acting IEC Secretariat Chief Shahla Haqparast stepped down from her post over the decision to stamp the photocopy of voter’s national identity cards. After the resignation of Haqparast, the IEC introduced Khalid Fahim, Jawid Habibi and Abdul Baseer Azimi for the post, but sources say the nominees were rejected and the commission has been urged to introduce new faces. (20180601) Ahmad Shah Zamanzai (20190719)
IEC Member: Sayed Hafizullah Hashimi (20180113)

appointed for 5 years:
Najibullah Ahmadzai, was born 1976
Abdul Qadir Quraishi,
Mrs. Maliha Hassan,
Mrs. Wasima Badghisi.

appointed for upcoming 3 years:
Rafiullah Bidar,
Gulajan Sayad and
Maazullah Dawlati (20161122) IEC commissioner Ma’azullah Dawlati on Friday Sep 23, 2017 that many decisions by the commission were being taken by four members who failed to consult the other three commissioners.

President Ashraf Ghani has appointed Imam Mohammad Warimach as the head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) secretariat.(20170301)

Six individuals picked as eligible for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Secretary General post had been interviewed, directly by the country’s president, Second Vice-President Sarwar Danesh and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. The interviewed individuals included Khaja Mohammad Asami, Ahmadullah Archiwal, Imam Mohammad Warimach, Abdul Raheem Daud Raheemi, Popal Habibi, Abdul Aziz Samim, Ahmad Shah Zamanzai and Sayed Jamaluddin Sahebzada, among whom, one would be picked for the slot.(20170301)

3. Biodata Mrs. Wasima Badghisi:
35, born in Badghis province, is a Tajik and holds a Master’s degree in Law and Political Sciences from Washington University, USA. She has served as lecturer at Herat University for more than eight years. She speaks Dari and English. On 22 November 2016, she was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for five years.

3. Biodata Mrs. Maliha Hassan:

44, born in Kabul, is a Hazara and holds a Master’s degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, USA. She did her BA degree in Law and Political Science at Kabul University, Afghanistan. She was a member of Afghanistan’s Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) for two years. She has served as lecturer in Kabul University since 2008 and has also worked for several UN agencies, including UNAMA, UNDP and UNHCR. She speaks Dari, Pashto and English. Before her appointment as a member of IEC, she also served briefly as deputy attorney general. On 22 November 2016, she was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for five years.

3. Biodata Najibullah Ahmadzai:
40, Pashtun, was born in Paktia province. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Al-Khair University, Islamabad, Pakistan (2009), and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Indian School of Business Management and Administration, India (2014). He has worked with the IEC as Regional Election Coordinator for the South East region from 2008 to 2011. He has also worked with IOM as senior adviser for the Out-of-Country Registration and Voting process during the 2004 and 2005 elections. He speaks Pashto, Dari, Urdu and English. On 22 November 2016, he was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for five years.

3. Abdul Qader Quraishi:
39, Uzbek, hails from Balkh province. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jurisprudence and Law (2011) and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (2014) from private Khatem ul-Nabeyin University, Kabul. He has worked as a procurement specialist with different organisations, including the Administrative Office of the President and the Ministry of Finance. He speaks Dari, Pashto, Russian and English. On 22 November 2016, he was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for five years.

3. Mazullah Daulati:
41, Aimaq from Ghor province. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Science (2001) from Kabul University and a Master’s degree in Political Science (2011) from Ferdousi University, Mashhad, Iran. Daulati has served with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in different capacities, inside and outside Afghanistan. He speaks Dari, Pashto, Arabic and English. On 22 November 2016, he was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for three years.

3. Gula Jan Badi Sayyad:
43, Pashtun, from Kabul. He holds a PhD degree. Sayyad has served in the following capacities: lecturer at Kabul University, vice-chancellor of the private Karawan University, lecturer at Dawat University, member of the Sharia board of Afghanistan Central Bank, and director of the Islamic Centre for Peace Studies. He has also taught as lecturer at Egyptian and Pakistani universities (from 2002-05 and 2006-10 respectively) and has served as a Pashto broadcaster in Egypt’s National Television (2002-06). He speaks Farsi, Pashto, English, Arabic and Urdu. On 22 November 2016, he was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for three years.

3. Rafiullah Bidar:

61, born in Nangarhar, is a Pashayi. He holds a Master’s degree in Technical Sciences from Technological Institute of Food Industry, Moscow, Russia (1980), a Master’s degree in Political Science (1985) and a PhD degree in History of International Relations (1988), both from the Institute of Human Science (now Gorbachev Foundation), Moscow, Russia. He has served as head of several regional offices and as head of the Press Office of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). He has taught international relations and diplomacy at Kabul University and the Institute of Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He speaks Pashto, Dari, Russian and English. On 22 November 2016, he was appointed as a commissioner in the IEC for three years.

The IEC reportedly submitted the names of three candidates for the Secretariat Head position to the National Unity Government (NUG). However, all three were reportedly rejected by President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah.

Justifying government actions over the rejection of nominees, the CEO’s office has said government wants to ensure the right candidate is appointed so that previous issues are not repeated in the IEC.

Former member of the IEC’s media commission Imam Mohammad Warimach, the former head of IEC public relations, Ahmadullah Archiwal, and Popal Habibi were the nominees rejected for the IEC secretariat position. (20170129)


Last Modified 2019-12-17
Established 2016-11-22