Mazar-e-Sharif electoral stakeholders forum
The third round of electoral stakeholder’s forum in Mazar-e-Sharif was set up on Wednesday September 26, 2018 at Kefayat Hotel. There were 30 participants of which 13 were women. The participants were as in: officials and representatives of the Independent Election Commission, Election Complaints Commission, Provincial Government representative, Balkh Provincial Council, Balkh Provincial Police Office, Civil Society organizations, political parties, parliamentary candidates, representatives of the office of the UNAMA and representatives of women's special agencies. According to agenda, Ahmad Wali Sangar economic expert of Balkh province talked about the importance of the elections in determining the political fate of the country, the implications and consequences of the political participation of the people, in particular the participation in the elections, as well as the challenges and problems in the electoral barrier. Subsequently, Mohammad Bashir Qalandar Information and awareness director of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), highly thanked FEFA for holding such meetings, stated that the Electoral Commission is in the process of re-accreditation of the Commissions, and since the beginning of their activities, they have regularly made public reports on their activities. He referred to two important issues: First, he said at the request of the political parties that biometric voting was carried out and that the voter first would be biometric on the election day and later be allowed to enter the polling station. The second point is that, in the Parliamentary Campaign, no complaints about pre-election campaigns have been filed by any organization, candidate or citizen, as documented by the Electoral Commission. Then, Ghulam Hussain Ahmadi head of Secretariat of the Electoral Complaints Commission referred to the complaints and protests of the initial list of candidates, which included a total of 20 protests and all of them were handled. He also added that ECC filed 10 protests in connection with the pre-campaign campaign and they were all handled.
• Independent Election Commission • Election Complaints Commission • Provincial Government representative • Balkh Provincial Council • Balkh Provincial Police Office • Civil Society Organizations • Political Parties • Parliamentary candidates • UNAMA • Women's special agencies
The participants discussed regarding coordinate and cooperate between electoral stakeholders.
FEFA held the third round of electoral stakeholder’s forum in September 26, 2018 in Mazar-e-Sharif, along with IEC, ECC, Balkh Provincial Council, UNAMA, and other organizations in order to discuss on coordination and cooperation among electoral stakeholders. According to agenda, first there was discussed about the importance of the elections in determining the political fate of the country, the implications and consequences of the political participation of the people, in particular the participation in the elections, as well as the challenges and problems in the electoral barrier. In addition, IEC mentioned that biometric voting was carried out by the request of the political parties and that that the voter first would be biometric on the election day and later be allowed to enter the polling station. At the end of the program, Balkh Police Office provided information about 315 identified polling centers forces which 208 of them are normal centers, 42 centers are medium-threat centers, 24 of the centers are under severe threat and 41 are closed centers.
In the recent past, they indicated their preparation to file complaints and protests and to handle them as a result of the voter list in the polling centers, and recently invited the guests to cooperate in any field on the basis of a fair and transparent election. The last speech relates to Mr. Ahmad Jawed Deputy Chief of Staff of Balkh Police Officer who provided their report and work plan on security situation. He said that 315 polling centers were identified by their intelligence forces which 208 of them are normal centers, 42 centers are medium-threat centers, 24 of the centers are under severe threat and 41 are closed centers. Security measures are planned in four stages. • Providing candidate security at the campaign stage. In order to secure them, the candidates are required to inform the police office 48 hours ago. • Transferring the substance of the commission to the polling stations. The necessary measures have been taken in this regard. • Securing the polling stations. For the normal polling centers there will be four police centers, for policing centers that have a moderate security threat there will be 6 policemen and for centers that have severe security threats will require 10-12 policemen, and in each center there will be 2 female members to try. • Securing the ballot boxes and observers from the district centers to the center. The second part of the program was devoted to free discussion and the question and answer of the guests and participants, questions that were relevant to the authorities, such as whether the candidate could install their photos anywhere they wanted to. Those who have missed the registration and sticker installation process, will the registration stage begin again? How do you distinguish between the actual and the false Tazkera (identification card) for the voter list? Biometric system in places where the internet is interrupted, how do all voters register? In response to the above questions, the representative of the election commission stated that in the installation of photos of the candidate, the municipality and the company of (Belhika) will contract with candidates and receive a certain amount of money from the candidate for a specified period of time. In the renewal section, the re-registration has not yet received guidance and is unlikely to be renewed. In each center there is a checking position and the voters will go to the polling station in accordance with the list of their names, and those who do not have a name in the polling station will not be allowed to enter the polling station. The biometric system is configured to save the Internet when the Internet is disconnected, and will log on to the Internet as soon as the Internet is connected. In the blocked polling stations, the commanding officer has the operational plan and may be re-activated after the operation of the police. Conclusion: Considering the issues discussed and the delay in the start of the Electoral Forum, such information and consultation meetings were welcomed by Civil Society Organizations and candidates, and called for the continuation of these programs in the future. Because minor issues that are not usually referred to be discussed in this program, which will make the stakeholders more responsive and strengthen accountability not only in the presence of officials but in the presence of those who participate and should be part of the transparency of the electoral process. Issues under discussion in the program will further clarify the work of the commissions and provide information on the security situation.
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