December 7, 2015
Kabul-Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) held a conference under the title of a prospect to district council election. The representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, elite figures, university students and media attended this conference to discuss the preparations and coordination for holding the district council election.
At the beginning of the conference the executive director of FEFA, Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed talked on importance of district council election and said that FEFA as the largest domestic election observation institution in Afghanistan has always emphasized on holding the district council elections on the date mentioned in the constitution. He said, “On one hand, holding of the district council election along with the parliamentary elections can strengthen the pillars of political system and on the other hand the heads of National Unity Government had promised the people to hold the district council elections along with the parliamentary election.” Mr. Rasheed added that given the importance of holding Loy Jirga (Grand Assembly) for amendment of constitution holding of district council elections to elect the members of district councils is very important and therefore, the related institutions must get preparation for holding the district council elections from now on. Subsequently, Mr. Rasheed criticized the delay in electoral reform process and government’s ambiguous stance in this regard and urged the heads of National Unity Government to undertake the necessary measures for electoral reform and establishment of Selection Committee.
Then, FEFA’s representative presented a power point presentation on the results of FEFA’s advocacy meetings with the related government institutions. In this presentation, FEFA presented information on the importance of district council elections, enhancing the level of cooperation and coordination among related institutions including the Directorate of Local Governance, the Central Statistics Organization, The Afghan Geodesy & Cartography Office, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Ministry of Interior Affairs. The election officer of FEFA, Mr. Rahmutullah Salehi said, “During several advocacy meetings with the mentioned institutions FEFA succeeded to know the level of their preparations for helping in holding the district council elections. Our findings indicate that there is no coordination and cooperation among the above mentions institutions to play their roles in holding election.”
Subsequently, Mr. Abdul Ghias Wardak, the head of administrative unites of Independent Directorate of Local Governance and Mr. Haroon Rasheed, the advisor of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation talked on verification of borders of districts for holding the district council elections and said that they are ready to cooperate with election management bodies for better management and holding of elections. Mr. Rasheed said, “Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation has good experience of establishing the districts development councils and has been able to establish 389 district development councils in 34 provinces of Afghanistan.” He also said that Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation is ready to share the experience of establishing the districts development councils with electoral management bodies. Then, head of policy affairs of Administrative Office of the President, Mia Gul Wasiq, said that the National Unity Government supports the electoral reform process and will soon establish the Selection Committee of selecting the members of electoral commissions.
It is worth mentioning that the representative of presidency, chief executive office and electoral commissions were invited to attend the conference but unfortunately they didn’t appear the conference.