Bewilderment of legislative decree in parliament and continuation of deadlock ahead of electoral reform process

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group is made up of representatives from political parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Media organizations. This group is established by technical assistance of Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA). The group has been lobbying for electoral reform and holding free, fair and transparent election since 2014 and monitor the steps taken toward electoral reform. The group acknowledges the government for issuing legislative decrees on electoral reform but believes that lack of pursuing these decrees by parliament is in contradiction to article 79th of The Constitution which states, “In cases of recess of the Wolesi Jirga, the government can adopt legislation in an emergency situation on matters other than those related to budget and financial affairs. The legislative decrees become laws after they are signed by the president. The legislative decrees should be submitted to the National Assembly in the course of thirty days beginning from the first session of the National Assembly. In case of rejection by the National Assembly, the legislations become void.” According the article, after issuance of the decrees, the government was obliged to establish the Selection Committee to prepare the list of candidates of membership at electoral commissions and submit to president.

Press release on presidential decree rejected by parliament

Kabul- the Special Electoral Reform Commission (SERC) presented its second recommended package on electoral reform to government and officially ended its work. Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) appreciate SERC for developing and presenting the recommended packages on electoral reform and urge the government of Afghanistan to consider and implement the recommendations prepared by SERC.
According to the agreement made by two campaign teams regarding the structure of National Unity Government (NUG), the government has to consider and implement the recommendations of SERC. At the moment the recommendations on electoral reforms are on the desk of NUG leaders and therefore FEFA urge the leadership of NUG to execute and implement them. Likewise, FEFA encourage the government to obligate all relevant government institutions to help in implementation of SERC recommendations. FEFA ask the government and Supreme Court to have clear interpretation of article 109th of constitution and action of Wolesi Jirga regarding rejection of presidential decree to make it clear whether parliament has the authority of rejecting the presidential decree in its last working year or not.

Press Release:Remark and Correction

1394)For urgent release/ November 30,2015 (1394)
Kabul- Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) released its six-month parliamentary monitoring findings from the ninth session of sixteenth legislative period of Wolesi Jirga on November 21, 2015. The members of National Assembly, the representatives of political parties and civil society organizations and representatives of media organizations were the participants of this conference. FEFA shared its six-month parliamentary monitoring findings with the participants of the conference through a power point presentation and gave a copy of the report to each participants. The report included the performance, activities, achievements, positive developments and shortcomings of Wolesi Jirga over the ninth session of sixteenth legislative period. The report was welcomed by the representatives of people in Wolesi Jirga and was widely broadcasted by mass media.
However, FEFA appreciate the media organizations for their permanent cooperation but expresses its discontent over improper and unprofessional performance of those media organizations that have falsified the six-month parliamentary monitoring report of FEFA and published the issues on behalf of FEFA which do not exist in the report and were never stated by FEFA members in the conference.

FEFA’s Statement on SERC Short Term-Package for electoral Reforms

September 13, 2015

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.

92% MPs support the Electoral Reform Process

FEFA interviewed 125 members of Wolesi Jirga to get their views on electoral reform process. The findings of this survey show that absolute majority of MPs support the electoral reform and consider it a pre-condition for conducting an intact election in the future. The findings of survey were released today in a press conference. Based on the findings of survey 64% of MPs agreed that members of electoral commissions must receive votes of confidence from Wolesi Jirga individually. Likewise, 60% of the MPs demand changing of the electoral system to strengthen the presence of political parties in parliament. However, 69% of interviewed MPs said that they will nominate themselves in upcoming parliamentary election.

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