Key Reforms Needed To Clean Up Afghan Elections

Civic and Political Leaders Call on Afghan Government
To Commit to Specific Improvements before Next Polls
KABUL, Afghanistan –More than 60political and civil society representatives are calling on the Afghanistan government to carry out critical reforms to improve the electoral process before the country’s next round of voting in 2013.
Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential and provincial council elections and 2010 parliamentary polls were marred by widespread fraud, doubts about the independence of election authorities, a defective voter registration process and barriers to women’s participation.
Domestic and international observers have said these problems must be addressed to build greater confidence in the integrity of Afghan elections. The representatives – from Afghan civil society groups, election management bodies, parliament, provincial councils, political parties, academia and the media – participated in a conference here Sept. 19 and 20 that focused on lessons learned from the countries past elections. At this convening event, organized by the Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the participants developed a concrete plan to advance key reforms. These included: Download PDF

Sunday, 04 December 2011 08:53

One Nation, One Vote, One Vision a Shared Commitment to Improve the Electoral Process in Afghanistan

We, the participants of the“2009 and 2010 Afghan Elections: Conference on Lessons Learned and Future Directions”, call for the improvement and strengthening of our country’s electoral process. In order to better prepare for the 2013 provincial council elections, 2014 presidential elections and 2015 parliamentary elections, we, the participants want the following actions to be taken:
1. Protect the independence of the electoral management bodies – the Independent Electoral Commission, the Electoral Complaints Commission and the Candidate Vetting Commission.
2. Ensure transparency in the conduct of these electoral management bodies, with the aim of enhancing public trust and ensuring justice.
3. Encourage political parties to nominate qualified male and female electoral candidates, transparent reporting of campaign contributions and expenses, and public and comprehensive reporting of the performance of elected representatives.

FEFA's Press Release on Simeen Barakzai Strike

FEFA is drastically concerned over the safety of Ms. Simin Barekzai who is one of objecting candidates and recently went hanger strike. This foundation supports expanding culture of civil protest for advocacy nationwide. Furthermore FEFA calls on respective in charges to take such a civil protest into consideration responding them.
Today is the fifth day of Ms. Simin Barekzai hunger strike and her health status is getting worst day by day. Therefore FEFA calls on president Karzai and relevent organizations to consider this civil protest in order to protect her right to live.
Date: Wednesday, 5th of October- 2011

FEFA Press Release on President Decree

FEFA welcomes president decree dated in 10th of August, 2011 in which once again all electoral issues have been conceded to Independent Election Commission (IEC)
FEFA believes that president efficiently stepped forward protecting constitution and democracy by announcing this decree.
FEFA calls on Independent Election Commission (IEC) to adhere to electoral law and all principles resolving this crisis impartially and based on its legal role.
2010 parliamentary election crisis undermined efficiency of three branches of state and endangered Afghanistan national unity and interest. Therefore FEFA calls on all governmental and related parties to end current crisis through collaborating the process and maintaining national unity.

Kabul, August 11, 2011
Contact: FEFA Media Relations
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Monday, 15 August 2011 05:04

Women Groups Critical to Electoral Reform FEFA

Kabul, 25 March, 2011– Afghanistan’s leading women’s organizations should be included in the electoral reform process to ensure women’s concerns are not overlooked during elections, the Free and Fair Election Foundation (FEFA) said in a report released Thursday.
The 18-page report, titled “Women and Afghanistan’s 2010 Parliamentary Elections,” details women’s experiences during every phase of last year’s disputed elections, from candidate registration through the seating of the new parliament. The report highlights serious shortfalls in the electoral system regarding women’s political rights and democratic participation. It calls for women’s organizations to be included from the outset of the electoral reform process due to begin next month with the creation of an electoral reform working group.
“Women’s concerns during elections must be addressed during the reform process,” said FEFA executive director Jandad Spinghar. “If women are left out of these important decisions, electoral reform will be incomplete and unsuccessful.”
Although women ran for offices in record numbers during the 2010 parliamentary elections, FEFA’s observers found that women faced greater obstacles than men did when registering to vote, lodging official complaints against candidates and in obtaining protection from law enforcement. Neither the Independent Election Commission nor the Electoral Complaints Commission was able to recruit enough women staff and shortages in provincial election offices had an especially restrictive effect on the participation of women from rural areas.
Escalating armed conflict also encroached on women’s political participation. The campaigns of women candidates in 2010 were more constrained by insecurity than the campaigns of male candidates, and women threatened by insurgents and local powerbrokers received only grudging support from law enforcement according to FEFA’s observers nationwide.
Women candidates were threatened and harassed by insurgents, powerbrokers, rival candidates and prejudiced members of their own communities. They were subjected to anonymous phone threats, Taliban night letters, and accusations of religious and sexual impropriety from rival candidates and clerics.


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