Advocacy meeting of the Electoral Reform Joint Working Group

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.

The Second Advocacy Meeting!

Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology Supports the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform

September 8, 2015
Kabul- the Electoral Reform Joint working group, made of representatives from political parties, civil society organizations, and media held its second advocacy meeting on Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform With Mr. Abdul Razaq Wahedi, Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The members of group thanked Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology for attending this meeting. Mr. Naim Asghari, programs manager of FEFA presented detailed information on background of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group and the contents of the declaration and said, “The political parties, civil society organizations, mass media and FEFA consolidated their opinions about electoral reform in a declaration (The Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform) and now present it to related government institutions for consideration.” He said that Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology is a key institution hence a considerable part of the declaration belong to it. Usage of technology in election process and technical aspects of issuing electronic ID cards belong to Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology. Mr. Asghari added, “FEFA as a professional election observation organization is committed for electoral reform and is ready for every type of cooperation with government institutions including Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology.

The Third Advocacy Meeting for Electoral Reform

The Central Statistics Organization Announced Its Readiness to Cooperate With Electoral Bodies


Kabul- The Electoral Reform Joint Working Group in cooperation with FEFA held its third advocacy meeting for the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform with Mr. Habibullah Mowahed, the Deputy of Central Statistics Organization. The representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and media were present in this meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Naim Asghari, programs manager of FEFA talked on importance of electoral reform; the attempts of FEFA and joint working group in this regard and the role of the Central Statistics Organization in verification of population of Afghanistan and eligible citizens to voting. He urged the deputy of the Central Statistics Organization to present information on the number of eligible citizens for voting and the population of Afghanistan.
Subsequently, the deputy of Central Statistics Organization said that electoral reform and verification of population of Afghanistan and eligible citizens for voting and urged all government institutions to use the statistics and information of the Central Statistics Organization. He said that the organization published a leaflet on population of Afghanistan in 2015 which can be used by policy makers, decision makers and researchers. According to him the organization prepared the list of population by using the “PT=POE RT” and according to this list the population of Afghanistan is almost 27, 6 million person among which 14,7 million is male and almost 13,9 million is female.

The Special Electoral Reform Commission Supported FEFA’s Recommendations

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.

The Second Deputy of Wolesi Jirga Supports the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform

Kabul- The Electoral Reform Joint Working Group is comprised of representatives from political parties, civil society organizations and media. The group held its fourth advocacy meeting for the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform with Mr. Nazer Ahmadzai, the second deputy of Wolesi Jirga. This meeting took place in office of Mr. Ahmadzai at Wolesi Jirga. At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Ahmadzai appreciated the attempts of group and FEFA for electoral reform and expressed his support from the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform. Mr. Naim Asghari, the programs manager of FEFA, thanked the second deputy of Wolesi Jirga for setting this meeting and talked on the objectives of the declaration. Subsequently, Mr. Salehi, the Election Officer of FEFA pointed to the important parts of the declaration on the law on the Organization, Duties and Authorities of electoral commissions. Then, the members of group talked on important issues including presence of representatives of political parties in Selection Committee and changing of the electoral system and urged the second deputy of Wolesi Jirga to consider the recommendations of group while talking on amendment of the Law on the Organizations, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commissions. Subsequently, the second deputy of Wolesi Jirga appreciated the attempts of FEFA and Electoral Reform Joint Working Group in electoral reform section and promised to invite the members of FEFA in the committee sessions of Wolesi Jirga while talking on the Law on the Organization, Duties and Authorities of electoral commissions. He said that election is a national process and electoral reform is an important issue for promoting election and rebuilding public trust on election process. He also said that the Special Electoral Reform Commission has recommended shortening of the electoral constituencies, changing of electoral system and preparing of the voters list based on the ID cards but implementation of these recommendations is difficult. He said that the recommendations and opinions of representatives of people, political parties and civil society organizations must be considered in electoral reform process.

September 21, 2015

An Overview of the short-term Recommended Package of the Special Electoral Reform Commission

The Independent Special Electoral Reform Commission carried out a national mission on electoral reform to come up with the short-term electoral reform package. FEFA welcome the attempts and performance of every members of the Special Electoral Reform Commission (SERC) and hope them more success in their working areas. FEFA as a technical election observation organization which has experience of observing national and international elections, consecutively shared its technical recommendation with the SERC. FEFA reviewed and scrutinized the contents of short-term electoral reform package prepared by the SERC. Preparation of voters list, increment of women quota in elective seats, changing of electoral system, the mechanism on handling the complaints, revision on polling centers and voters access to polling centers, new criteria for employment of staff at the electoral commissions are the positive points of the recommended package. FEFA appreciate the positive points of package and believe the implementation above mentioned points is the first step toward electoral reform process but the issues like establishment of Transparency Committee, classification of constituencies, the Selection Committee, the issues relating to secretariat of the commission, the relationship among two commissions and the relation among electoral commissions and their provincial offices are not very clear in the package.

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Signature of the Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform

Leaders and heads of political parties, CSOs and media organizations (members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group) officially signed the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform in presence of authorized representatives from presidency and Office of the Chief Executive and presented it to the presidency and Office of the Chief Executive.

Ahmad Nader Naderi, chairman of FEFA presented information on role of political parties in political processes and election and said, “Political developments depend on attempts and contribution of political parties and CSOs in political processes. Unfortunately, over the past 13 years the role of political parties was insignificant; whereas, they must have played effective role.” Mr. Naderi added, “The previous elections had bitter and sweet lessons. These lessons can be used to prevent occurrence of problems and challenges in future elections.” He also said that political leaders agreed on reform of electoral system to prevent repetition of bitter lessons of previous elections. Thus, the electoral system of Afghanistan must be reformed According to the agreement made among political leaders.” Mr. Naderi criticized the non-implementation of commitments of leaders of government and said, “by signing this declaration we want to show leaders of government that people of Afghanistan want reform of electoral system and I am hopeful that submission of this declaration to the representative of president and representative of CEO lead to the commencement of a successful political process in this country.”

FEFA’s Proposal on the Electoral Complaints Commission as a Permanent Institution in the Country’s Electoral System

The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) is a civil institution that observes the elections process in the country and plays its role in the reform of the electoral system through cooperation with legislative authorities, particularly the parliament.
The Judicial and Justice Affairs Committee of the lower house of the Afghan parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, convened a deliberation on Election Complaint Commission on (August 7, 2012) and planned to develop a proposal on the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), attach it to the draft Law on the Structure and Mandate of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), and present it to the plenary session of the Wolesi Jirga.

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FEFA’s brief statement on The Government Strategic vision for the transformation decade (Tokyo Conference)

The future of Afghanistan will be once again the focus of an international donor conference in Tokyo this July 2012. While Afghanistan is moving ahead in its reconstruction, underpinning a democratic society and seeking assistance from international community, Afghan government must present a vision and a set of clear and specific benchmarks to its international partners in Tokyo. These mutual commitments should be based on shared values and based on the successes made in the past decade. For Afghanistan to make a positive transformation in the coming decade, Afghan government and its international partners—based on hard lessons that were learned in the past ten years—shall set well-defined, specific benchmarks and measureable indicators in sectors of good governance, rule of law and democracy building.

Proposed Plan of FEFA for Independent Media of Afghanistan to Support Electoral Reforms

Media as fourth estate in democratic regimes have always played an effective role in implementation of reforms. Experiences have shown that professional and targeted use of independent media to support reforms in a country produces desired results, because impressibility level of people and political leaders are always very high, and it can persuade decision makers or organs to bring necessary reforms. It is, however, worth mentioning that this is possible only when the independent media are completely aware of their responsibility organize and coordinate their programs effectively and professionally by taking effective steps in order to bring positive changes to the society.

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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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