Coordination meeting with the representatives of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission

Election Section of Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) held a coordination meeting with the representatives of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, Central Statistics Organization, the Population Census Organization, E-Tazkira Office, General Directorate of Local Governance, Ministry of Women Affairs, Afghan Women Network, New Line Organization, Election Watch Organization and the National Democratic Institute to discuss about how to strengthen coordination among these institutions to play effective role in each electoral stages.

At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Naeem Asghari, programs manager of FEFA talked about the role and responsibilities of election stakeholders in electoral stages and subsequently the representatives of mentioned institutions presented detailed information about the role and responsibilities of their institution in electoral stages. Similarly, they appreciated FEFA’s election section for holding this meeting and said holding of such meetings can help the election stakeholders get more preparation for playing more effective role in electoral stages and take part in transparency of election process.

Participants of the meeting agreed to hold coordination meeting once in a month before the election process begin and twice in a month during the election process. They also decided to specify the agenda of meetings prior to the meetings and share with all members to get preparation and readiness to talk about the issues mentioned in agenda.

A review of first 100 days of IEC Performance

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) made serious attempts to track the implementation of promises made by the new members of electoral commissions on November 21, 2016 to share the their performance with people. The findings of this report was shared with IEC and citizens through declarations and attending media programs immediately after they happened but this report discuss the cases in details and present specific recommendations for each of them.
Election Planning
Lack of a codified strategic plan in IEC is the major problem of IEC and the new members of IEC haven’t been able to codify a strategic working plan since they appointed as members of IEC. Lack of codified plan in IEC led to postponement of electoral reform, public distrust on electoral commissions and ambiguity in determination of electoral timeline. The following issues indicate that IEC lack strategic work plan.
1. Holding of the first conference by members of the Independent Election Commission on November 28, 2016: Chairman of the Independent Election Commission promised in this conference to prepare the voters’ list, equipoise the polling centers, maintain the transparency of election, keep the impartiality and independent of commission, and make decision about electoral issues in presence of observers/monitors. But he didn’t take any measure to fulfil the promises he made

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.

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The fifth consultative meeting about electoral reform

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group held its fifth meeting to finalize draft of the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform. The representatives of political parties and civil society organizations attended this meeting to exchange views on the draft. After discussing and amendment of some articles of the draft-declaration, participants of meeting agreed to publish it in a press conference.

November 15, 2016

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group held its first working meeting

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group held its first working meeting on May 25, 2016 from 9 am to 3 pm in FEFA. The draft rules of procedure of the group and some articles of the proposal on electoral reform were discussed in this meeting. The participants exchanged views on rules of procedure of and decided to approve the rule of procedure in next meeting. Similarly, the participants expressed their views about the proposal on electoral reform.

The Fourth Electoral Reform Consultation Meeting

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group which is made up from the political parties, civil society organizations and media organizations held its fourth consultation meeting to discuss the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform and program of solidarity of political parties to lobby for implementation of electoral reform. The participants of meeting finalized the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform after amending some of its articles and agreed with creation of solidarity among political parties to lobby for electoral reform. The participants of meeting recommended FEFA to hold a separate meeting with all political parties to discuss the plan establishment of Political Parties Coordination Council for Electoral Reform with them and invite them to join this council.
At the end of the meeting, members of the Electoral Reform Advocacy Group signed the internal rules of procedure of the group which was finalized in previous meeting of the group.

Kabul-July 28, 2016

The Fourth Electoral Reform Consultation Meeting

The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group which is made up from the political parties, civil society organizations and media organizations held its fourth consultation meeting to discuss the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform and program of solidarity of political parties to lobby for implementation of electoral reform. The participants of meeting finalized the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform after amending some of its articles and agreed with creation of solidarity among political parties to lobby for electoral reform. The participants of meeting recommended FEFA to hold a separate meeting with all political parties to discuss the plan establishment of Political Parties Coordination Council for Electoral Reform with them and invite them to join this council.
At the end of the meeting, members of the Electoral Reform Advocacy Group signed the internal rules of procedure of the group which was finalized in previous meeting of the group.

Kabul-July 28, 2016

The Third consultation meeting of Electoral Reform Advocacy Group

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) held the third consultation meeting of the Electoral Reform Joint Working Group where the representatives of political parties, CSOs and media attended. At the beginning of the meeting, the internal rules of procedure of the group which was drafted in previous meetings, shared with the participants. The participants decided to finalize the internal rules of procedure and sign it in next meeting of the group. Subsequently, the participants discussed on more coordination among political parties and establishment of the political parties coordination council to support the implementation of electoral reform. The representatives of political parties appreciated FEFA for raising this recommendation and expressed their readiness for establishment of this council. The representatives of political parties agreed to establish the council to lobby for electoral reform. Then, the participants decided to talk on working mechanism of the council in their next meeting. At the end of the meeting, FEFA thanked the political parties, CSOs and media for attending this meeting and said it technically support the Electoral Reform Joint Working Group and the Political Parties Coordination Council.

The second consultation meeting of Electoral Reform Advocacy Group

The second consultation meeting of Electoral Reform Advocacy Group: The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group held its second consultation meeting on June 2, 2016 from 9 am to 1:00 in FEFA HQ. At the beginning of the meeting the draft code internal rules of procedure of the group which was discussed in previous meeting of the group was read and finalized. The rules of procedure will be signed and distribute to members of the group in next meeting. Subsequently, according to the agenda the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform which was already prepared by FEFA and included three sections (Election transparency, Trust-building on election and electoral commissions and strengthening the role of political parties in upcoming parliamentary and district council elections) and was discussed. All participants of the meeting expresses their views of principles of the declaration and agreed on general issues as substantive principles of electoral reform. At the end of the meeting the participant decided to discuss on the political parties law and how to strengthen the role of political parties in election in the next meeting of the group.

A Review of One and Half Years Electoral Reform: From words to action

According to the Constitution, the government must have held the parliamentary and district council elections on March 21, 2015 but due to delay in commencement of electoral reform process, the election date postponed. Subsequently, the IEC announced August 14, 2016 as Election Day but this announcement was made without coordination with government and electoral stakeholders. Therefore, it faced serious national and international objection. After, postponement of election, the National Unity Government extended the working duration of parliament through a legislative decree to prevent parliamentary gap. Scares from repetition of 2014 electoral challenges led the government consider electoral reform more important than election. However, the leaders of NUG had promised to begin the electoral reform program immediately after structure of their government but they didn’t do so. NUG established the Special Electoral Reform Commission (SERC) one and half year after the structure of government.
SERC prepared two recommended packages on electoral reform and presented them to government for consideration and implementation. The work of SERC ended after presentation of the second package.

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FEFA

Kartee- 4 Hajari Najari Street, Behind Russian Cultural Institute, House#013

Tel:+93-799 -310664

Web site: www.fefa.org.af

    

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