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
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.