Afghanistan Parliamentary Election Observation Mission 2010

Tuesday, 04 October 2011
Message from the Chairman
Last year’s election was Afghanistan’s most difficult yet. Campaign season saw violence, coercion and fraud on an unprecedented scale. Candidates and campaign staff were abducted, beaten and murdered.

Voters and election workers were systematically terrorized by insurgent groups and powerful warlords. Yet, those groups and individuals who sought to shut down the elections in most

Cases failed and despite all this, Afghans once more demonstrated willingness and desire to pursue a democratic path.

Young candidates reached out to voters through mobile technology, grassroots campaigns and public debates. Hundreds of women candidates braved an onslaught of harassment. Thousands of election workers awoke to find threatening letters posted at night by insurgents and continued working anyway. Week after week, non-governmental observers, including those from FEFA’s network, reported abuses of power and crimes against civilians, continuing their important task despite escalating violence.

The Special Election Court

The Controversy:Upon recommendation from the Supreme Court and approval of the President, a special elections court was formed on December 15, 2010 to investigate issues after the Wolesi Jirga elections.
The Court’s members consisted of five Supreme Court justices and 10 administrative personnel. In its first press conference on December 20, 2010, the chairperson of the Court called it a special court and said it was a legal entity based on Article 32 of the Law on the Organization and Jurisdiction of Courts. The formation of the Court elicited varying reactions. The members of the Wolesi Jirga called the formation of the elections court against the Constitution and electoral laws, while the objecting candidates welcomed its establishment.
Keeping in view the preservation of the integrity of the electoral system in the country, the Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) expressed its deep concerns in a press release on December 16, 2010. FEFA called any form of interference or decision from the judiciary about the election’s process and results as contravening the law and electoral guidelines, asserting that the legal authority to investigate electoral concerns and announce election results lies only with electoral bodies. FEFA asserted its position through active participation in television and radio panels in the national and international media and called on the judicial organs to respect the country’s electoral system.

Afghanistan’s Analysis on the Amendment of the Electoral Law

22 February 2010
In countries where the political system is based on democratic foundations, the electoral law is one of the most important laws. Usually these laws are characterised by provisions in order to lay the ground work to ensure the real and fair representation of people in the system on the one hand and also to practically guarantee the transparency of the election process on the other hand. Thus far in other countries electoral laws are always being reformed in line with consideration of current issues and public participation concerns. Afghanistan is one of those countries that are newly experiencing democracy and it is necessary to seriously monitor legislative reform in this area.

The latest action by the government in order to amend the electoral law shows the same intention, but as mentioned above, any sort of measures to introduce reform must be considered seriously in order to achieve the objectives aimed for.

Monitoring Campaign Finance in the 2010 Wolesi Jirga Elections

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


The 2010 Afghan Parliamentary Elections to elect members of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) took place on September 18th. This election is the fourth attempt to regulate campaign finance in an Afghan election.

The Joint Election Management Body (JEMB) was established for the 2004 Presidential election and the 2005 Wolesi Jirga election; where after the Independent Election Commission was established to administer the 2009 and 2010elections.

The IEC, and the JEMB before it, is entrusted to administer and regulate the electoral campaign period.

Specifically, Article 38 of the Electoral Act of 2005 bestows regulation of campaign finance and to mandate rules and regulation on the electoral campaign period. As such, the IEC has established its “Regulation on Campaign Finance Disclosure by Wolesi Jirga Candidates” which sets conditions on campaign contributions (Article 3) and requires candidates’ disclose on campaign contributions and expenses (Article 4). However, to date, there have been

no substantive efforts by an independent monitoring organization to specifically monitor the campaign finances of an Afghan election. Given Afghanistan’s limited experience with campaign finance regulation, disclosure, and enforcement, the 2010 election presents an ideal opportunity to examine and explore the effects, constraints, and challenges related to campaign finance and transparency in Afghanistan.

Recounting and Exclusion of Ballots Lacked Transparency

Kabul, October 28, 2010 –The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) expressed concern Thursday regarding the recounting and exclusion of ballots from the September 18 parliamentary elections and called on the electoral institutions to demonstrate Greater transparency as the 2010 electoral process enters its final weeks.

FEFA, which that fielded the largest number of NGO observers on Election Day and throughout campaign season, said the recounting and exclusion process was mishandled in many areas of the country. In at least 23 provinces, observers reported serious recounting problems such as missing reconciliation sheets and complaints forms, discrepancies between tally sheet totals and votes contained in recounted ballot boxes, candidates’ agents blocked from observing recounts, and observers barred from signing reconciliation forms. Observers reported hundreds of ballot boxes affected in each category.
“The lack of transparency shown by Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials in many areas and the lack of respect shown for the role of non-governmental observers and andidates’ agents is alarming and at odds with the Electoral Law,” said FEFA executive director Jandad Spinghar.


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