Wednesday, 08 June 2011
The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) was prepared for observing the first phase of the voter registration process, but due to funding difficulties FEFA could only observe 20% of VR registration centers with 363 volunteer observers in fourteen provinces ( Badakhshan, MedanWardak, Sarpul, Ghor, Ghazni, Noorstan, Konar, Parwan, Kapisa, Takhar, Bamyan, Dikondi, Panshir, Logar) all findings of observation report were shared and pointed out to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) staff by holding by weekly meetings. Also, the findings from the start of the process were announced through the media.
Despite funding problems FEFA’s volunteer observers have partly continued observing the VR process from the fourteen above-mentioned provinces voluntarily and they have sent the latest reports about the process to the central office. The reports indicate that the registration process in these fourteen provinces has been satisfactory, but there are indications of problems in some of these provinces.
Multiple registrations: Multiple registrations have been one of the main problems in this process. In many confirmed instances from the start of the process until now FEFA’s observers have witnessed multiple registration violations and they have been reported.
Multiple Card distribution: FEFA’s observers have witnessed in Doaba district of Nooristan that the registration center’s staff have distributed cards to community elders without following procedure. FEFA’s observers have reported that the numbers of these cards are up to 100 and similar violations have been reported from Asmar district of Kunar; Andar district of Ghazni; and Cheghcheran City of Ghor. When contact was made with the electoral provincial authorities of Kunar, satisfactory changes to avoid violation have been made. This sort of violation has been more serious and wider especially in the last week of the first phase of registration.
Women’s participation has been observed in the registration process, but in some provinces due to culturally inappropriate services and lack of security women’s participation has been low compared to the rest of the provinces and this is worrying.
Women’s participation has been a lot lower in Maidan Wardak and Nooristan provinces compared to Parwan, Kapisa, Ghor and Takhar provinces. Also there have been differences in women’s participation between districts of the some provinces, for example in Ghazni province in Andar district female registration has been much lower than Jaghori district.
Opening of Centers:
Although the official opening times for the registration centers are set at 7:30am daily, it has been the case from the start of the process that most centers in most provinces have not opened before 8:30am
Also, some centers have been closed on unusual occasions. In one case in Dawlat Yar district of Ghor province a registration center was closed for two days because of the head of the area’s wedding party.
A large number of VR registration station have been closed occasionally or permanently from the start of the process for security reasons - in Andar, Khugyani and Nawa districts of Ghazni province; Jalrez and Jeghato districts of Maidan Wardak province; Shahrak, Tolak and Charsada districts of Ghor province; Kharwar district of Logar province; and Doaba district of Nooristan Province.