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.
The legislative decrees are currently in parliament. Therefore, considering the urgent need for electoral reform, the group urges members of parliament to make decision on these decrees soon to accelerate the electoral reform process. Rejection of the decrees will cause continuation of the ambiguities on electoral reform and instability of the country. The National Assembly can amend the decree on the Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commissions in consultation with CSOs sans any political consideration. Electoral reform is not ending in replacement of members of electoral commissions. Therefore, group urges the National Assembly not to waste the time of electoral reform for the purposes of retaining electoral commissions’ members. Those who insist on retention of current members of electoral commissions might have dealt with members of electoral commissions.
The Electoral Reform Advocacy Group believes that the electoral reform is an urgent need of Afghan community and a precondition for holding a free, fair and transparent election in future. Therefore, it urges the National Unity Government to pave the ground of holding upcoming elections in its specified time based on new legislative decrees. In case it is impossible to hold the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections on its specified time based on new legislative decrees, the Group urges the National Assembly to put pressure on government not to postpone the date of upcoming parliamentary election (June 2017). FEFA is willing to technically cooperate with National Assembly on legislative decrees.