FEFA expresses concerns over the situation in electoral commissions urging the government of Afghanistan and International Community to immediately handle this issue

After the international community announced the cut of their assistance to the electoral commissions, the officials at the Independent Election Commission (IEC) set a one-month deadline for their staff in central and provincial offices to do their clearance with the commission. As a result of this decision, the IEC staff protested calling the commissioners responsible for the situation and asking them to step down
FEFA and the people of Afghanistan are seriously worried about the situation. The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) believes that as part a major of electoral reform process, there is need for reforms in electoral commissions. Additionally, FEFA also expressed serious concern over a number of professional and technical staff losing the electoral commissions. Over the last ten years, large amounts of money have been spent building technical and professional capacity of these staff. Thus, immediate dismissal of these technical staff is a big gap, which is difficult to be filled shortly.
Considering the situation and the concerns of Afghans, civil society and the members of parliament, FEFA present the following recommendations to the National Unity Government and the International Community:

FEFA Statement on final result of 2014 presidential Election

“Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) considers the candidates’ political agreement on the formation of National Unity Government a step forward and welcomes the announcement of final results of presidential election run-off by the Independent Election Commission that puts an ending to the prolonged process. However FEFA believes latest political outbreaks that denied people the right they must possess in the process could be considered a roll back in democracy and in election process in the country.”
Despite security threats and climatic problems the people of Afghanistan went to the polls twice on April 5th and June 14th, 2014 to experience a peaceful transition of power with their votes for the first time in the history of the country. FEFA observed all stages of the 2014 election process across the country and despite having noticed considerable improvements in the electoral system and structure, it has also observed breach of the laws and rules, violations of procedures
negligence of electoral officials that could lead to destruction of the process and could be considered a big blow to democracy in the country. FEFA urges the candidates to play their significant roles in strengthening and enhancing the credibility of the process by accepting the final results. FEFA considers the political agreement between the two candidates step forward but believes that handling technical issues through political negotiations will not only marginalize people from exercising their political rights but will also harm young democracy in the country.

FEFA’s Recommendations on Improving the Audit Process

Following the agreement of the two presidential candidates, on july 17,2014 the independent Election Commission began the nation wide audit of the votes cased on 14 June 2014 Presidential Runoff Election.

FEFA conducts observation of the process, currently with over 80 observers and has on standby 50 additional observers who would join the process as soon as the IEC reaches to its full capacity of 100 teams of auditing per day.

FEFA’s Observation of the audit process in the past five days show that those involved in the process, especially candidates agents, has limited understanding of the audit process and often they lack necessary information on the audit procedures. This has resulted some times in major disagreements among candidate agents and IEC workers. This has caused serious delays and slowed down the audit Process. Therefore, FEFA recommends the followings for an improved process:

1- The Audit & votes invalidation procedure should be finalized immediately; these procedures must be based on accepted UN and International best practices.

2- For better arrangement of the audit teams, the regulation on role of candidates’ agents that also specifies their number in each auditing table, as well as clarifies role of team leaders of the candidates agents, and the seating arrangement for the candidate agents on auditing table should be stipulated.

FEFA’s Press Release on Breaking the electoral Deadlock

FEFA welcomes the agreement of the candidates in respecting the democratic process and the ballots cost and agreeing on mechanism that ensures that the final outcome of the process is based on people’s vote. The two presidential candidates have agreed to an audit and recount of all votes casted in second round of 2014 presidential election. As the priority is given to the election technical process, FEFA considers the agreement a step forward in addressing the issue of transparency of the electoral process and would help to restore the confidence in electoral institutions and the electoral process.
FEFA urges the electoral bodies adopt a specific procedures on vote recounting & auditing and release it to the public in order to increase the transparency of recount & audit of the votes.
Nader Nadery, chairman of FEFA said today, “Restoring the credibility of electoral bodies and prioritizing the technical phases of the election process strengthens people trust on a peaceful political transition that will happen through direct votes of people.”
He added, “FEFA believes this measure paves the ground for the success of democracy and for facilitation of a peaceful democratic transition”
As a result of prolonged audit process, the inauguration ceremony will be delay henceforth, FEFA urges the Independent Election Commission and other electoral bodies to revise their timeline and share the updated one with the media stakeholders, media and the public.

FEFA’s Press Release on Second Round of 2014 Election

Today, June 14th marks a historic momentum for the Afghan people who voted to institutionalize democracy through their extensive participation in elections. The voting process started at 7 A.M and continued until 4 P.M.
After observing the first round of 2014 Presidential Election, Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) observed the second round run off with over 9,000 short-term and long term observers across the country.
FEFA congratulates the Afghan people for having successfully exercised another phase of democracy and the Independent Election Commission for its attempts to organize and manage this national process in its best way possible. FEFA acknowledge the efforts made by their volunteer observers who stood alongside the voters at the polling stations for a second round in elections 2014.


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Tel:+93-799 -310664

Web site: www.fefa.org.af


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