Herat electoral stakeholder’s forum third round
FEFA conducted the third round of electoral forum on credibility of electoral process in Herat province on Wednesday October 10, 2018 at Esteghlal conference hall. In this program, there were 27 participants of which 9 were women. Participants included the Independent Election Commission representative, the Electoral Complaints Commission representative, representative of Herat Local Government Office, representatives of Political Parties, Civil Society, Women and Youth, the UNAMA office and Human Rights Commission. There were participants from Herat University and the Parliamentary Nominees as well. Seyed Ezzatollah Alami, representative of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), said the recruitment of our staff has happened. We previously hired a number of officers through the Kankur exam, which is a district authority and public awareness officer. And another number were hired for polling centers. The rest of the staff were hired for Election Day as: Identity Officer, Sheet Distributor and Controller and they were selected among school teachers and Education Department of the state. At this stage of the election, we have no staff other than our school teachers and Education Department of the Herat. The method of using biometrics has been taught for all IEC staff members, and they are responsible for teaching biometrics to other officers at polling centers. He added that we have more than 1,000 biometric devices in our 300 polling stations, which operate with power and can use both the OFF LINE and ON LINE methods to transfer the data to themselves, and then these data are subsequently collected and calculated at the center. The biometric mode of operation is such that the voter registration tool operates offline. In many places and locations around Herat, the Internet does not work and the biometric device can record voter information. The voters' list will be installed on polling centers and voters will find their names and profile by visiting the polling stations and receive ballot papers.
• Independent Election Commission • Electoral Complaints Commission • Herat Local Government Office • Political Parties • Civil Society • Women and Youth • UNAMA • Human Rights Commission • Herat University • Parliamentary Nominees
This program was aimed to assure the transparency and credibility of electoral process
FEFA conducted the third round of electoral stakeholder’s forum on credibility of electoral process in Herat province on October 10, 2018 along with IEC, ECC, Political Parties, and others. All attendees in the program committed that they will strongly support the electoral process and so, no power and armed group would be able to harm it. As they mentioned, there are 1000 biometric devices in 300 polling centers, which can transfer data both online and offline. But still there are 14 polling centers which is unclear whether the election will be held there. In addition, ECC has found 100 complaint cases which 20 cases are related to pre-campaigns activity. In the meantime, ECC is committed to exclude the candidates who are not eligible for election, even one day before the polling day. At the end of the program, it was suggested to FEFA to plan debates for provincial – level and asked the candidates to discuss and share their plans so that people can vote for the desired person.
Biometric devices have been transferred to Herat by about 70% and 30% of biometric devices will arrive in Herat province by tonight or tomorrow and will be transferred to polling centers at a specified time. Election of District Councils was supposed to happen together with the Parliamentary Elections but that is delayed due to the IEC's considerations until indefinite time. According to Mr. Matin, of the local Herat provincial office, the local administration strongly supports the electoral process so that no power and armed groups would be able to harm the electoral process. He said that among the 300 centers that are scheduled to be held in Herat province, there are 14 polling centers which It's unclear whether the elections will be held in 14 polling centers. Another serious discussion is of course security. The security officials have been given serious order to ensure security on election day. Security forces have the duty to send troops to all polling stations and take security measures. He charged all the electoral stakeholders, including the Independent Election Commission, the Electoral Complaints Commission, election observatories, the media and civil society activists, to bring the national process to a successful conclusion. Mr. Faiq, the representative of the Electoral Complaints Commission said that the Complaints Commission has found out of 100 complaints and all these have been addressed regularly. 20 cases are related to pre-campaigns activity and have been handled. And the decision of the Complaints Commission has been communicated in this regard. The complaints commission can exclude candidates who are not eligible even one day before the election. According to the electoral law, candidates who violate the electoral process, the Complaints Commission addresses all violations of the electoral law. Mr. Faiq said that the Electoral Complaints Commission, in accordance with article 98 of the Electoral Law, will deal with all complaints, violations, and even election crimes. However, in the area of campaign expenses, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) is in charge of monitoring and reviewing it. During the program, participants in the program shared the questions and concerns that were involved in the election process. Participants asked the use of biometric devices and raised ambiguities and questions in their minds. Panel members also answered the questions of the participants and explained the electoral process and the handling of electoral complaints. Conclusion: • Participants in the program, considered these programs very important for validating the electoral process and highly thanked FEFA office for calling the electoral stakeholders together to share their concerns and points of views with IEC and ECC. • The participants appreciated FEFA for forming such programs and said that FEFA has been working for many years for transparency and credibility of the electoral process. In addition, they thanked the electoral commissions, which, as always, participated in the program and partnered with election issues. • Participants from Herat Local Government Office were highly admired for supporting the electoral process. • There were no representatives from the security organs who had been involved in the program, which was considered concerning. • Participants in the forum asked questions for the IEC and IECC and heard the panel's comments and explanations. • In the end, the Electoral Complaints Commission was asked to pursue the electoral matter more seriously. The Election Commission has almost done its work and plans and is ready to hold the Parliamentary Election. The next and general responsibility will be addressed to the Complaints Commission. • It was suggested to FEFA's office to plan debates for provincial-level and ask the candidates to discuss and share their plans so that people can vote for the best and desired person.
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