Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reforms
Electoral reform is an urgent need of Afghanistan which can help strengthen election, strengthen the role of political parties, establishment of a strong parliament and intact opposition. Electoral reform was a part of the political agreement on establishment of the National Unity Government (NUG) and the NUG pledged to rebuild public trust on election through implementation of electoral reform. Until the electoral system and administrations are not reformed the electoral challenges will repeat in future elections as well and lead to people distrust on election and electoral bodies. Given the political agreement NUG was supposed to commence electoral reform as soon as it is established but unfortunately the electoral reform process faced a political deadlock and postponed for more than years after establishment of NUG. Finally, the first practical step toward implementation of electoral was taken on November 21, 2016 through appointment of new members of electoral commissions. Now, the new members of electoral commissions are responsible for implementation of next phases of electoral reform to pave the ground for holding a free and fair elections in the country. The electoral commissions can implement the next phases of electoral reform when they are strongly committed for electoral reform and keep their independency and impartiality during tenure of office. Likewise, they have to act based on the provisions of Constitution and electoral laws of Afghanistan and prevent doing actions which can undermine their impartiality and independence of electoral commissions. Any kind of actions in contradiction to electoral laws and electoral commission’s’ alignment with government will endanger the in tacitness of election upcoming elections. Cooperation of National Assembly, civil society organizations, election observation organizations, political parties and international community with electoral commissions is seriously needed. Without the cooperation and assistance of mentioned institutions, the electoral commissions are unable to implement the next phases of electoral reform and pave the ground for holding a free and fair election in Afghanistan.
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