Leaders and heads of political parties, CSOs and media organizations (members of Electoral Reform Joint Working Group) officially signed the Declaration of Substantive Principles of Electoral Reform in presence of authorized representatives from presidency and Office of the Chief Executive and presented it to the presidency and Office of the Chief Executive.
Ahmad Nader Naderi, chairman of FEFA presented information on role of political parties in political processes and election and said, “Political developments depend on attempts and contribution of political parties and CSOs in political processes. Unfortunately, over the past 13 years the role of political parties was insignificant; whereas, they must have played effective role.” Mr. Naderi added, “The previous elections had bitter and sweet lessons. These lessons can be used to prevent occurrence of problems and challenges in future elections.” He also said that political leaders agreed on reform of electoral system to prevent repetition of bitter lessons of previous elections. Thus, the electoral system of Afghanistan must be reformed According to the agreement made among political leaders.” Mr. Naderi criticized the non-implementation of commitments of leaders of government and said, “by signing this declaration we want to show leaders of government that people of Afghanistan want reform of electoral system and I am hopeful that submission of this declaration to the representative of president and representative of CEO lead to the commencement of a successful political process in this country.”
Subsequently, Mr. Rasheed, the executive director of FEFA presented information about FEFA’s programs on strengthening the role of political parties and CSOs in electoral reform process and appreciated the tireless attempts of representatives of political parties, CSOs and media in this regard. Mr. Rasheed pointed the contents of declaration and said, “Commencement of work of Electoral Reform Commission, preparing voters list, issuance of electronically identification cards, amendment of electoral laws, changing of electoral system to increase the role and participation of political parties in political processes, reforming of the electoral structures and transparency and accountability of electoral commissions were identified as joint principles by Electoral Reform Joint Working Group.”
Then, Ahmad Zia Masoud, the special representative of president in reform and good governance affairs welcomed the declaration and said, “Preparing of this declaration is a positive step toward paving the ground for fundamental reforms. On behalf of government I welcome this declaration and believe this work of FEFA can pave the ground for institutionalization of democracy in the country.”
The representative of CEO of government was the fourth speaker of this conference. Mr. Sancharaki, the cultural advisor of CEO of government said, “I am very happy that FEFA in cooperation with political parties, CSOs and media prepared such a good document which mentions the areas which need substantive reforms.” Mr. Sancharaki said, “Without electoral reform, no election will be held in the country. We are committed to electoral reform and our attempts continue in this regard.”
Mr. Abdul Ali Mohammadi the legal advisor of president was the last speaker of the conference. Mr. Mohammadi discussed the concerns and challenge of electoral reform and talked on fate of work of Electoral Reform Commission, termination of working duration of Wolesi Jirga and delay in issuance of electronically identification cards. Mr. Mohammadi pointed the commitment of presidency for electoral reform and said, “The Electoral Reform Commission will commence its work within next week.”