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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A review of one and half electoral reform: From Words to Action

The political agreement on structure of NUG has guaranteed implementation of electoral reform. After the second round of 2014 presidential election faced deadlock the two leading campaigns of run-off structured a NUG based on a political agreement. They agreed to reform the electoral system and amend the electoral laws, do census of the population, begin issuance of E-Tazkera, hold Loy-Jirga of amendment of Constitution, and change the political system into parliamentary system through a political agreement. Article 5 of the agreement includes president’s commitment for electoral reform to assure transparency of upcoming elections. The leaders of government promised to establish the SERC to reform the electoral system of Afghanistan before holding the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections. This commission will present its recommendations to chief executive and the chief executive will present it to the cabinet.

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FEFA Granted Appreciation Letter to Members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) granted appreciation letter to members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group (Political parties, Civil Society Organizations and Media).
The program of granting appreciation letters to members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group began by recitation of some verses of Holy Quran and then Mr. Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, the executive director of FEFA, appreciated the members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group for their efforts toward electoral reform. Subsequently, FEFA’s officials presented brief information about FEFA’s activities and planes toward electoral reform and urged the participants to share their views on lobbying for electoral reform with FEFA.
Then, the members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group thanked FEFA for its attention to electoral reform and holding of free and fair elections and shared their views on electoral reform with FEFA. They announced their readiness for participating and supporting electoral reform programs. The program ended by granting of appreciation letter to members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group.

May 4, 2016

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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