FEFA in the Media
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‘Young Afghan voters aim to change face of parliament,’ Lynne O’Donnell, AFP, August 26, 2010
The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), an independent monitor, said election-related violence was escalating as the poll neared.
Election authorities have said that 938 out of a total 6,835 polling centres will not open on election day because security cannot be guaranteed.
“I’m aware of the risks and dangers that are out there that threaten every individual candidate,” said Mossazai.
“I made my decision to run with that awareness. Afghans who want to make a better future for Afghanistan have to make sacrifices.”
’25 Insecure Provinces, 25 Days Ahead of Afghan Elections,’ TOLOnews, August 24, 2010
The Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) says if no solutions are found to stop the challenges before the parliamentary elections, Afghans will lose their trust in the elections and will not have wide-scale participation.
“There is not only the security problem, but there is also the problem of government authorities’ interference in this process, and the other problem is the lack of seriousness by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) to prevent fraud,” Jandad Spinghar, the executive director of FEFA told TOLOnews.
‘Afghan elections: record number of women stand for parliament,’ Jon Boone, the Guardian, August 24, 2010
According to the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (Fefa), a female candidate in isolated Ghor province was forced to abandon her campaign and flee to Kabul.
It said that women candidates were “inundated” with late-night threatening calls both from insurgents, political rivals and even some ordinary people.
“Women’s campaigns were barely visible in the most insecure provinces in the south and south-east of the country, and female candidates complained of government indifference to their security concerns,” Fefa said in a recent report.
Despite the dangers the number of women seeking representation in parliament has risen sharply, from 328 in 2005 to 406 across Afghanistan, according to an international election monitor in Kabul. They are running for at least 64 of the 249 seats reserved for women.
‘Ahead of Afghan poll, security deteriorates across north,’ Enayat Najafizada, AFP, August 24, 2010
Independent monitoring group the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) said: “As election day moves closer, election-related violence is escalating.”
On its website, FEFA described “grim illustrations of the deteriorating security situation” across the country, with “insurgents focus(ing) on intimidation, distributing night letters warning voters, candidates and election workers to abstain from the elections or face violent targeting”.
“Taliban in one district of Nangarhar province went door-to-door threatening that anyone caught with a voter registration card would have her or his right hand cut off,” it said.
‘Security concerns make Afghan elections dangerous for politicians, voters alike,’ David Nakamura, Washington Post, August 24, 2010
Ahmad Nader Nadery, chairman of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, said his organization has recorded a large increase in intimidation by the Taliban of voters and candidates, especially women, as well as threats from warlords who have propped up handpicked candidates against weaker rivals.
Compared with the presidential election last summer, Nadery said, “the coming elections will be much more challenging in terms of security, in terms of conditions on a very local level. Attempts to buy and persuade electoral employees favoring this and that candidate will be much more, but there are not many more prevention mechanisms.”
‘Voters could lose faith in election due to violations: FEFA,’ Frozan Rahmani, Pahjwok Afghan News, August 21, 2010
People could lose faith in the September 18 parliamentary election process if authorities do not address violations in several parts of the country, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) warned on Saturday.
FEFA officials had collected information from provinces over the past three weeks, and had registered 166 cases of violations, including intimidation of candidates, Jandad Spinghar, executive director of FEFA, told a press conference in Kabul.
Thirty four incidents included threats to candidates directly or indirectly by anti-government sources, such as intimidation of weak candidates by more powerful ones, threatening night letters and violations of election rules and regulations.
‘Fraud and Violence Expected to Mar Parliamentary Poll,’ Ben Farmer, Irish Times, August 21, 2010
Several candidates said security this year was worse, despite the arrival of 30,000 American reinforcements ordered by Barack Obama. Nader Nadery, chairman of FEFA, said: “There’s more intimidation, there’s more attacks on female candidates and other candidates. There’s assassination of candidates. Areas in the south are becoming more and more insecure and areas in the north are becoming more and more intimidating for the weaker candidates.”
‘Unrest Is Undermining Hopes for Afghan Vote,’ Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, August 11, 2010
The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, a nongovernmental election monitoring organization, will have observers in roughly 60 percent of polling centers, said Ahmad Nader Nadery, its chairman. That leaves those parts of the country that are most insecure almost certainly without observers.
Clarification: FEFA will carry out observation in every province, and in many districts with tenuous security.
‘ Ex-Guantanamo detainee now campaigning in Afghanistan,’ Dion Nissbaum, McClatchy, August 4, 2010
While many election experts are wary of the upcoming vote, there’s broad agreement that postponing it would be a mistake.
“I believe postponing the elections would further undermine the legitimacy of this government and will add to the disillusionment of those communities and groups who feel they are marginalized totally by the government,” said Nader Nadery, the head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan and a veteran human rights activist.
“They strongly believe that the only way for them currently is to be elected in parliament, and if for whatever reason the elections are postponed, they would accept the conspiracy theory that the government is trying to control and marginalize other ethnic groups from the centers of power,” Nadery said.
‘Afghanistan election will still include suspected war criminals,’ Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor, July 30, 2010
Nader Nadery, a member of the Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan, says the ECC allowed itself to be steamrollered by the government.
“The ECC cannot just approve a decision made by someone else without asking questions about the credibility of the information provided to them. They have the power to question; they should not just serve as a clerk,” he says. “I was disappointed with the lack of proper vetting of candidates with clear links to armed groups and serious human rights abuses records.”
‘An interview with Jandad Spinghar, head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA),’ Hamidullah Habibi, Afghanistan Votes, July 19, 2010
In order to have a successful election, potential voters, the media and civil society forums should try to play their monitoring role effectively. In addition, the IEC must try to conduct a transparent election and decrease the level of abuses. The IEC must assure people that they can conduct a free and fair election. The adoption of such measures by the IEC will increase its credibility and people will participate in election in a larger numbers. A public outreach program is another useful tool in this regard. In addition, security organs can play a key role in the election process. They should adopt constructive measures to decrease the level of insecurity particularly in the volatile areas of the country.