Premature commencement of electoral campaigns and its impacts on the performance of parliament

FEFA held a meeting with the representatives of civil society organizations, MPs and experts on May 14, 2018, to discuss impinges of the premature electoral campaigns on the performance of parliament. After the announcement of electoral calendar by Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan for the parliamentary and district council elections, a number of MPs went to their provinces to begin the premature campaign. Thereby, the Wolesi Jirga and its standings commissions faced lack of quorum completion to hold their sessions or make a decision regarding the drafted laws or bills. It is believed that candidates will strengthen their campaigns after the commencement of the candidates’ registration process and campaign period. On the other hand, we can’t deprive people of the right to run for elective seats and campaign for this purpose. Prematurely commencement of the electoral campaigns and the constituency’s visits by the MPs for the campaign purpose has negatively impacted performance of the parliament throughout the 15th legislative sessions. Therefore, FEFA invited MPs, senators, university lecturers, experts and representatives of the civil society organizations to discuss the impacts of premature commencement of electoral campaigns on the performance of parliament and find conceivable ways for reducing these impacts. An analysis of the forthcoming elections: At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Mohammad Farid Afghanzai, senior technical advisor of FEFA, presented information about the electoral calendar for the forthcoming parliamentary and district council elections and outlined the shortcomings of the announced calendar as follows: 1. In contradiction with the provisions of law, the calendar has considered complaints period on the voters' list, after the list is published. 2. Given the calendar, the candidates’ registration process begins on May 26 and continues until June 12, 2018. However, voters’ registration process begins in the districts 10 days before commencement of the candidates’ registration process. Therefore, the candidates won’t have adequate time to prepare the list of supporters of their candidacy.

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