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Rejection of the second presidential decree on electoral reform; a regrettable act

14 Jun 2016
595 times

For urgent release/ June 13, 2016
Unfortunately, Wolesi Jirga rejected the presidential decree on amendment of the Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of Electoral Commissions for the second time. This decision of Wolesi Jirga is considered rejection of election and democracy in the country. This irresponsible act of Wolesi Jirga proved that MPs do not value public demands. People expected the Wolesi Jirga to make decision about this decree deeming the prestige of this house and put an end to the electoral reform deadlock. The reports from international meetings/summits on Afghanistan’s electoral reform indicate that the international community is not satisfied with the progress made yet. The international community will make new commitments to Afghanistan and its people in two important conferences (Warsaw and Brussels) but this decision of Wolesi Jirga will negatively impact the support and donations of international community to Afghanistan. FEFA consider this act of Wolesi Jirga deplorable and present the following recommendations to government and Meshrano Jirga of National Assembly:

1. FEFA urge Meshrano-Jirga to not make the decision of Wolesi Jirga about the decree. Meshrano-Jirga is recommended to make decision about this decree in consultation with election relevant organizations, political parties, people and considering the needs for electoral reform and holding of election. The proper decision of Meshrano-Jirga about this decree can solve the problems and pave the ground for electoral reform and holding of election;
2. The government of Afghanistan can again recourse to the Supreme-Court and the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of Constitution and urge for interpretation of article 79 of Constitution. FEFA believe that whereas both electoral laws have common basis therefore according to article 109 of Constitution, proposals for amendments of these laws cannot be included in the working agenda of the National Assembly during the year of the legislative period;
3. Proposals for amendments of the electoral law cannot be included in the working agenda
If, all legal approaches face deadlock, the government along with all stakeholders must take a proper and logical approach to solve the problem. This approach must pave the ground for implementation of electoral reform and holding of election;
4. FEFA seriously urge the president and chief executive of the National Unity Government to implement the commitments they have made about electoral reform to people of Afghanistan and international community. They are also urged to prevent complicating the electoral reform issue;
5. The National Unity Government must make a specific decision about the fate and continuation of work of current electoral commissioners. Considering the attempts of commissioners for sabotaging the electoral reform process the continuation of their work as commissioners need a revision; 
FEFA urge all citizens of Afghanistan, civil society organizations, civil activists, political elites and political parties to lobby for electoral reform which is a national critical issue and never give up. We must put the necessary pressures on government and other relevant institutions to persuade them for implementation of electoral reform.

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