A review of one and half electoral reform: From Words to Action

The political agreement on structure of NUG has guaranteed implementation of electoral reform. After the second round of 2014 presidential election faced deadlock the two leading campaigns of run-off structured a NUG based on a political agreement. They agreed to reform the electoral system and amend the electoral laws, do census of the population, begin issuance of E-Tazkera, hold Loy-Jirga of amendment of Constitution, and change the political system into parliamentary system through a political agreement. Article 5 of the agreement includes president’s commitment for electoral reform to assure transparency of upcoming elections. The leaders of government promised to establish the SERC to reform the electoral system of Afghanistan before holding the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections. This commission will present its recommendations to chief executive and the chief executive will present it to the cabinet.

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FEFA Granted Appreciation Letter to Members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) granted appreciation letter to members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group (Political parties, Civil Society Organizations and Media).
The program of granting appreciation letters to members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group began by recitation of some verses of Holy Quran and then Mr. Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, the executive director of FEFA, appreciated the members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group for their efforts toward electoral reform. Subsequently, FEFA’s officials presented brief information about FEFA’s activities and planes toward electoral reform and urged the participants to share their views on lobbying for electoral reform with FEFA.
Then, the members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group thanked FEFA for its attention to electoral reform and holding of free and fair elections and shared their views on electoral reform with FEFA. They announced their readiness for participating and supporting electoral reform programs. The program ended by granting of appreciation letter to members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group.

May 4, 2016

The Committee on Judicial and Justice of Wolesi Jirga

A delegation of FEFA met with head and members of the Committee on Judicial and Justice of Wolesi Jirga on May 3, 2016. At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, executive director of FEFA thanked the committee for organizing the meeting and presented information about the shortcomings of the legislative decree on the Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commissions and then presented FEFA’s recommended package on amendment of the decree to the Committee on Judicial and Justice of Wolesi Jirga. The recommended package of FEFA includes 12 cases and the executive director of FEFA urged the committee to consider FEFA’s recommendations while amending the decree. Currently, the Committee on Judicial and Justice of Wolesi Jirga is working on amendment of the decree hence FEFA presented its recommendations on amendment of the legislative decree on amendment of the Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of the Electoral Commissions to this committee.
Subsequently, the head and members of the Committee on Judicial and Justice of Wolesi Jirga appreciated FEFA for its proceedings toward electoral reform and said that FEFA’s recommendations on amendment of the Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commissions are very important and can help in maintaining the intactness of election. They promised to consider FEFA’s recommendations while amending the decree.

Much Needed Electoral Reforms in Afghanistan

Through the political agreement both camps agreed to undertake an electoral reform process immediately after establishment of the National Unity Government.
The 2nd round of Afghan presidential election faced a deadlock after one of the two leading candidates accused Independent Election Commission of engineering industrial-scale fraud in favor of his rival. The deadlock was seriously threatening stability of the country. Therefore, both electoral camps agreed to structure a National Unity Government through a political agreement and undertake an electoral reform process immediately after the establishment of the National Unity Government but …

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Electoral Reform Conference: From Words to Action

Free and Fair Election Forum  of Afghanistan (FEFA) held a conference on March 30, 2016 to review the electoral reform process right after the establishment of the National Unity Government NUG. Totally, 130 participants from CSO, Political Parties, Youth and women activists, representatives from the governments’ parliament and Media have attended the conference.

Panelists: The panelists of this conference were Mr. Hashmatullah Radfar (Representative of Chief Executive office), Mr. Abdu (Member of Parliament/chair of Juderciary committee at Wolesi Jirga), Mr. Shah Sultan Akefi (Ex-Chairperson fo the Psecial Electoral Reform Commission)...

Report is also available in GNDEM web site: http://www.gndem.org/node/6841

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FEFA's stance on announcement of election date (Parliamentary & district council) by the Independent Election Commission

For urgent release/ January 18, 2016

FEFA deplore the announcement of electoral timeline (upcoming parliamentary & district council elections) without electoral reform and coordination with the government and donors. FEFA consider this proceeding of the Independent Election Commission unfit and confusing which negatively impacts public trust on electoral bodies.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the date of upcoming parliamentary & district council elections today in a press conference. Article 43 of the law on election states that the Election Commission shall announce the Election date at least 180 days before the Election Day hence the Independent Election Commission announced October 15, 2016 election day. However, the electoral reform process is not over and the necessary reforms for ensuring the transparency and intactness of the upcoming elections hasn’t taken place. The unilateral action of commission increases concerns over electoral reform process and make the government oppose the commission but on the other hand this opportunity can pave the ground for acceleration of electoral reform process. howbeit, article 156 of constitution ensure the working independency of the Independent Election Commission but given the first paragraph of article 3 of the Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commission states that the electoral commissions are established and work within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and perform their duties in coordination with the government.

Ministry of Women Affairs: We are ready to cooperate with FEFA in holding of its awareness programs in capital and provinces.

Kabul-Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) held its fifteenth electoral reform advocacy meeting with Mrs. Fawzia Habibi, Admin/Finance Deputy Minister of Women Affairs. The representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and media also attended this meeting to exchange views on electoral reform with Ministry of Women Affairs. At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Naim Asghari program manager of FEFA presented information on importance of electoral reform and FEFA’s proceeding in this regard. He then talked on role of Ministry of Women Affairs in election and said, “Whereas, Ministry of Women Affairs is a policy making body for women, it can take effective measures to increase women political participation.”
Subsequently, the Deputy Minister of Women Affairs talked on mutual cooperation between FEFA and Ministry of Women Affairs and pointed the release of Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform and said, “The Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform was an effective measure toward electoral reform.” She said, “Ministry of Women Affairs is ready to cooperate with FEFA toward electoral reform and implementation of FEFA’s awareness programs in provinces.” She declared the Electoral Reform Advocacy Group as a tool of pressure for accelerating the electoral reform process. She added, “Ministry of Women Affairs is responsible for increasing women awareness. Ministry of Women Affairs plan to hold its fifth awareness program in cooperation with Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Haj & Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information & Culture to increase awareness on women political-social rights and their role in the society.”

advocacy meeting with population census directorate

FEFA held its twelfth advocacy meeting (for electoral reform) with the deputy director of Population Census Directorate. The representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and media also attended this meeting to exchange views on role of Population Census Directorate in election.
At the beginning of the meeting, the programs manager of FEFA, Mr. Naim Asghari, presented information on importance of electoral reforms process, FEFA’s efforts in this regard and the role of Population Census Directorate in electoral reform process. He then urged the deputy director of Population Census Directorate to present information on continuity of issuing paper ID cards, the districts that the directorate is active there, the level of coordination among the Population Census Directorate and the E-Tazkira Issuance Office and the role of Population Census Directorate in issuing E-ID cards.

Then, the officials of Population Census Directorate said, “The Population Census Directorate has office in 364 districts. Whenever the Population Census Directorate stop its activities in some districts due to insecurity the residents of that district can refer to the neighboring district or center of the province to solve their problems.” He added that the Population Census Directorate performs its activities based on paragraph 4 of article 38 of the census law. The mentioned article states that the Population Census Directorate shall continue issuing paper ID cards until the issuing process of E-ID cards begins. 

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Team Held a Meeting with Minister of Hajj & Religious Affairs

Kabul- The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group held its ninth advocacy meeting for the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform with Faiz Mohammad Osmani, Minister of Hajj & Religious Affairs in Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs HQ. At the beginning of the meeting, the election officer of FEFA, Mr. Rahmatullah Salehi, thanked the leadership of Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs for organizing the meeting and presented information on objectives of the Electoral Reform Advocacy Group. He also talked on the role of Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs in encouraging people to participate in election and preventing electoral violations and fraud. Subsequently, members of the group presented their recommendations on holding of public awareness programs by Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs. They said that Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs in cooperation with media must prevent negative publicity of some mullahs about election. They added that the Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs must hold public awareness programs on women political participations. Then, Members of the electoral reform advocacy group urged the Minister of Hajj & Religious Affairs to explain the programs of Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs in this regard.

Minister of Hajj & Religious Affairs, Mr. Faiz Moammad Osmani, thanked FEFA for its efforts toward electoral reform and said, “Holding of a transparent and inclusive election strengthens political stability in the country.” He also presented information on Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs’ programs and said, “We have commenced the process of standardizing pulpits and mosques of Afghanistan.

Thirteenth Advocacy Meeting: FEFA Urged Meshrano-Jirga to Make Legal Action on Presidential Decree

Kabul- a delegation of FEFA met head of the Committee on Legislation, Judicial and Justice of Meshrano-Jirga to discuss the recent electoral reform proceedings and presidential decree on amendment of the electoral laws. At the beginning of the meeting, the programs manager of FEFA thanked the Committee on Legislation of Meshrano-Jirga for organizing the meeting and appreciated senators for their responsible remarks about presidential decree on amendment of the electoral laws. He said, “FEFA urge Meshrano-Jirga to make legal action about the presidential decree on amendment of electoral laws. Therefore, we encourage Meshrano-Jirga to make decision regarding the decree based on articles 79 and 109 of constitution.” He added that according to article 109 of constitution, the Proposals for amendments of the electoral law cannot be included in the working agenda of the assembly during the last year of the legislative period. However, this legal restriction does not include discussion about the Law on the Organization, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commissions.

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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