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1394)For urgent release/ November 30,2015 (1394)
Kabul- Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) released its six-month parliamentary monitoring findings from the ninth session of sixteenth legislative period of Wolesi Jirga on November 21, 2015. The members of National Assembly, the representatives of political parties and civil society organizations and representatives of media organizations were the participants of this conference. FEFA shared its six-month parliamentary monitoring findings with the participants of the conference through a power point presentation and gave a copy of the report to each participants. The report included the performance, activities, achievements, positive developments and shortcomings of Wolesi Jirga over the ninth session of sixteenth legislative period. The report was welcomed by the representatives of people in Wolesi Jirga and was widely broadcasted by mass media.
However, FEFA appreciate the media organizations for their permanent cooperation but expresses its discontent over improper and unprofessional performance of those media organizations that have falsified the six-month parliamentary monitoring report of FEFA and published the issues on behalf of FEFA which do not exist in the report and were never stated by FEFA members in the conference. FEFA as a civil society organization and supporter of democracy appreciate media for their permanent cooperation and kindly urge those media organization that falsify the reports and remarks of FEFA to consider journalism ethic and stop scandal and publishing unrealistic issues on behalf of FEFA. Though, FEFA has contacted the trespassing media organization through email and phone but will complain from such cases in future. Once again FEFA thank media organizations for their permanent cooperation with this organization.
Contacts
0796534986
0700225831
0774573333

FEFA held its seventh advocacy meeting on electoral reform with the programs advisor and the head of the capacity building department of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development. The representatives of political parties, civil society and media also attended this meeting to discuss the role of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development in election.
At the beginning of the meeting the programs manager of FEFA, Mohammad Naim Asghari, presented information on importance of electoral reform and the role of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development in elections, particularly in upcoming districts council election.
Subsequently, the programs advisor of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development, Haroon Rasheed, appreciated FEFA and members of the electoral reform joint working group for their efforts toward electoral reform and presented information on village development councils. He added that the village development councils can help the related institutions in holding the district council elections. Likewise, he presented information on working method of the villages’ development councils and their role in their villages.

November 10, 2015
FEFA held a meeting with students of Alberoni University where Mr. Qalatwal, representative of Zabul in Wolesi Jirga and Mrs. Zakia Sangen, representative of Parwan in Wolesi Jirga attended to present information on parliament and its activities to students. At the beginning of the meeting, the parliamentary monitoring team of FEFA thanked Alberoni University for organizing this meeting and presented information on political system, three branches of power, the duties and responsibilities of parliament and the parliamentary monitoring program of FEFA.
Parliament and its duties
Mr. Abdul Qadir Qalatwal, representative of Zabul province in Wolesi Jirga began the meeting. Mr. Qalatwal said, “Making and approving laws, monitoring the performance of government and representing people are three main duties of Wolesi Jirga.” Subsequently, Mrs. Zakia Sangen, representative of Parwan in Wolesi Jirga presented information on performance of parliament and said, “When we talk to students, they ask that what MPs are doing? Maybe they think MPs just come to the house, speak and some cases create problems in the house. Therefore, we brought the students of Parwan University to Wolesi Jirga to see the activities of MPs and committees of Wolesi Jirga.”
The Duties of MPs and Legislative Process

Students Event (Round Table)

11 Nov 2015
1035 times

Event Objective: The students will learn how the parliament is structured, how the Parliament build bridges between various state segments and how the MPs are accountable to their voters.
Location: Kateeb University students, Kabul Afghanistan
Participants: 35 students of the faculty of Politics and Law, University Professors, FEFA experts and the Parliament Member Ms. Nasima Niazi
MP: Ms. Nasima Niazi the Parliament member from Helmand Province
Facilitated by: The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan the PM Department
Date: November 10, 2015

Brief Introduction to the student events:
As originated in the structure of FEFA work plan, beside other activities mentioned in the work plan, the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) is officially involved in the process of monitoring the Parliament activities both at (Mashrano Jurga/upper house and Wolosi Jirga/lower house). FEFA has a department named the “Parliamentary Monitoring Team” which is mainly split into two directions the Parliamentary Monitors and the Citizen Outreach and Media portions. The University student events organized both at Kabul and Provincial level aims to introduce the Parliament Involvement in the state building as well the Parliamentary system now functioning in the country.
Event details organized at Kateeb University:
First of all the event has introduced by FEFA experts to the audiences and thanked everyone (Students, MP, and the University Professors) for their kind participation. Once again, FEFA thanked the MP for having time in participating in the event and requested to say more about the Parliament and related issues.
Ms. Nasima Niazi the most talented and active woman member of the parliament who remained since long as the Member of Parliament (Round 15th and now the 16th) in the parliament. She introduced herself, as she is from Helmand province, studied politics and law beside that she remained as teacher for a long period before she came to parliament. She highlighted the key capacity building trainings which all the MPs received during this round was the Parliamentary System training provided by GIZ remained much helpful for everyone. She talked more about structure and conditions of both the Wolosi Jirga and Mashrano Jirga, she said as per definitions, the state is structured of three segments (Government, Law and the Judiciary), all the laws to be reviewed, retained, passed and/or rejected is the responsibility of Wolosi Jirga except the budget which comes first to Mashrano Jirga and then to Wolosi Jirga and at final stage the result is declared to the government. She said during the round 15 and 16 of the Parliament more than 500 laws, protocols and conventions are processed and passed by the Parliament. She described the structure of Wolosi Jirga and said, there are 18 commissions working on different parts of the state (development, judiciary and law) issues, meantime, there is parliament internal code of conducts and management procedures which came as a law and enforced now in the parliament. She described about the development aspects and the women condition in the parliament and outside. She said, women are still not unity in the parliament and there are still confusions among women in the parliament which are mainly dominated and perpetrated by other men in the parliament. Specifically she said the decisions in the women commission on a specific issue which supports women are retarded or remained incomplete because of low participation and low quorum. However, among 249 members of the parliament, there are 69 women members in Wolosi Jirga and among 102 members of Mashrano Jirga there are 20 women but still men remained as first because they have money and still use power.
Asked questions by the students:
1. Why there are 18 commissions in the Parliament?
2. What was the benefit of Mutual Military Agreement signed with United States?
3. Why the laws are not executed by the government? And what is role of Parliament when (a) law is still not executed by the government?
The MP urged as of the first question: There are 18 commissions as defined law to monitor the impacts and situation of the government’s 18 priorities or the 18 National Priority Programs. Beside this, these commissions are working on other issues and priorities given by the management of parliament mostly in the plenary meetings.
On the second question: The MP said, yes we not feel the immediate benefits of this agreement now but if we think beyond it is definitely necessary. She said, you know the United States fund our security segments till 2018 and by yearly basis they provide us up to 5 billion of USD which is not possible for us to compensate this amount from our national budget.
On the third question: The MP said, yes there are still huge problems among parliament and the government but we struggle to minimize these constraints and all the laws will properly executed.
At the final the MP and FEFA thanked everyone for their proper participation and the Kateeb University administration for the giving time in organizing such event. The MP thanked FEFA for organizing this event as well for their enthusiasm and interests in knowing about the parliament and such national issues.

Geodesy & Cartography Head Office
There are not serious problems on specifying the borders of districts for holding district council election
October 28, 2015


The electoral reform joint working group-FEFA held its sixth advocacy meeting with head of Geodesy & Cartography Head Office. The representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and media were also present in this meeting.
Mr. Salehi, election officer of FEFA talked on behave of group and thanked the Cartography institution for taking part in this meeting. Subsequently, Mr. Salehi presented information on background and working objectives of the electoral reform joint working group. Then, he urged the head of the Geodesy & Cartography Head Office to present information on performance of this institution.

September, 29, 2015
FEFA held the fifth advocacy meeting with the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG). The professional and policy deputy of IDLG, the head of administrative unites of IDLG and the head of council coordination of IDLG attended this meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting the programs manager of FEFA, Mr. Naim Asghari, presented information on importance of electoral reform and the role of the Independent Directorate of the Local Governance in election. Mr. Asghari urged the deputy of IDLG to present information on performance IDLG in verification of borders of districts for holding districts council elections.
Subsequently, the policy deputy of IDLG thanked FEFA and members of advocacy working group for their attempts in section of electoral reform and said, “The IDLG plays two roles in election. Before election the IDLG have important role and after election the IDLG supports the work of elected bodies. Subsequently, the head of administrative unites of IDLG said, “The area of Afghanistan is 653742 square meter which is divided into 34 provinces, 376 districts (12 districts are established for temporarily), 159 urban districts and 49033 villages and according to presidential decree Shendand district of Herat province is recently divided into 5 districts.” He also said that in cooperation with the Central Statistics Organization and Cartography Department, they have been able to specify the borders of 90% of districts by using the GPS technology but still there is problem identification of pastures and agricultural lands. He assured that they are ready to cooperate for holding district council elections If the government maintain security of districts. Currently 112 districts are under high security threat, 102 districts are under medium security threats and 7 districts are under control of Taliban.

September 28, 2015
Kabul- a delegation of FEFA met the members of Special Electoral Reform Commission (SERC). The meeting took place based on the demand of SERC to hear the recommendations and stance of FEFA on short-term electoral reform proposal made by SERC.
After the SERC released its recommended package on short-term electoral reform; FEFA technically discussed the contexts of the package and shared its view on the package with media. FEFA pointed out some shortcomings and ambiguities of the package on short-term electoral reform and in some cases it urged further clarification. FEFA specifically pointed out to the Selection Committee, the structures of electoral bodies, the manner of handling the electoral complaints, the Transparency Committee and the electoral system and presented specific recommendations on each case. After the SERC reviewed the recommendations of FEFA urged FEFA to send a delegation to the SERC for discussion on each case.
At the beginning of the meeting the chairman and members of the SERC welcomed the delegation of FEFA and thanked them for their recommendations on the short-term electoral reform package of SERC. The chairman of SERC, Mr. Akefi, urged FEFA to continue its cooperation with SERC.
Subsequently, programs manager of FEFA, Mr. Asghari, appreciated the attempts of SERC in electoral reform section and said, “FEFA has been observing the democratic processes including elections for more than a decade and present its specific reforming recommendations to the related institutions.” He also said, “We support the electoral reform process in the country and think electoral reform is a fundamental need.” He also said that FEFA as a professional election observer institution in the country has its views and opinions on electoral reform process and FEFA’s recommendations on short-term electoral reform package has reforming objectives.
Subsequently, FEFA’s recommendations on amendment of the Law on Organization, Duties and Authorities of electoral reform commission was read one by one. The members of SERC agreed with majority of FEFA’s recommendations and appreciated FEFA for these recommendations. Some other issues including the structures of electoral commission, the Transparency Committee, the electoral system, provincial offices, the manner of handling the electoral complaints were discussed. The members of SERC appreciated FEFA’s views on each case and urged FEFA to hold regular joint meetings with the commission.

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) welcome the Special Electoral Reform Commission for preparing the short-term electoral reform package. FEFA appreciate the attempts of members of Special Electoral Reform Commission for preparing the short-term electoral reform package but it has its consideration on some articles and implementing mechanisms of some recommendations made by the Special Electoral Reform Commission.

Kabul- according to article 5th of the political agreement on establishment of National Unity Government (NUG) and given the presidential decree on establishment of the Special Electoral Reform Commission, the government of Afghanistan took the initiative to establish the Special Electoral Reform Commission. The Special Electoral Reform Commission took one month to come up with the short-term electoral reform package. The Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan welcome the attempts made by every individual members of the commission for preparing the recommended package on electoral reform. Preparing the voters list, increment women quota in elective seats, changing the electoral system, the mechanism for handling the complaints, making decision on polling centers and new criteria on employment of members and staff at the electoral commissions were the positive points of the recommended package made by the Special Electoral Reform Commission. However, the issues including establishment of the Transparency Committee, classification of constituencies, the Selection Committee, the issues relating to secretariat of electoral commissions, the relationship among two commissions and the relation among electoral commissions and their provincial offices technically need more contemplation. FEFA has found two major shortcomings in the recommended package: firstly, flaws and contradictions are seen in some articles of the package; secondly, there are ambiguity on implementing mechanisms of some recommendations made by the Special Electoral Reform Commission. Likewise, the special Electoral Reform Commission hasn’t recommended implementing mechanism for some of the recommendations it made.

FEFA welcome and praise the attempts of Special Electoral Reform Commission and urge them to contemplate on mentioned ambiguities and shortcomings while scrutinizing the package. Additionally, FEFA urge the Special Electoral Reform Commission to present specific implementation mechanisms for those recommendations whose implementation mechanisms are not mentioned or clear.

Similarly, FEFA appreciate the leaders of National Unity Government for fulfilling their commitments on electoral reform and urge them to undertake the necessary measures and operation programs on comprehensive and perfect recommendations of the Special Electoral Reform Commission, likewise, FEFA urge the government to mention the date of upcoming parliamentary election in accordance with the electoral reform program as soon as possible.

FEFA also appreciate the technical and financial support of the international community and urge them to continue their supports in this regard. The international community is urged to help the government of Afghanistan in implementation of electoral reform programs.

September 13, 2015


Contacts
0796534986
0700225831
0774573333
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www.fefa.org.af

Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) is an independent national civil society organization established by a number of civil society organizations in 2004. FEFA strives to ensure every citizen enjoys equal rights and opportunities to participate in election and to make sure observation will further enhance transparency of the electoral process in the country. As the largest election observer organization in the country that has observed five national elections since 2004, FEFA through its observation reports seeks to educate people on the structure and framework of the electoral system. FEFA has also observed elections in Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other South & South East Asian countries and has shared its electoral experiences with those countries. FEFA is a permanent member of Asian Network for Free Elections and has close relations with the election section of OSCE which further helps FEFA enhance the scope of its works and abilities on election.

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FEFA

Kartee- 4 Hajari Najari Street, Behind Russian Cultural Institute, House#013

Tel:+93-799 -310664

Web site: www.fefa.org.af

    

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