In a press release distributed to electoral stakeholders last night, the Independent Election Commission announced that it has declined to extend the process of voter registration for the 2010 parliamentary elections:
The Independent Election Commission, considering the ordinances of the Constitution and articles of the Electoral Law, has the responsibility of managing and supervising electoral processes across the country; considering the big responsibility, the IEC has always done its best efforts to provide its countrymen and women with the necessary facilities for the purpose of their active participation as both candidates and voters. The IEC, through approval of 2010 Wolesi Jirga Elections timeline, made a decision on 03rd June, 2010 to apply renewal of voter registration on provincial levels from 12th June, 2010 to 12th August, 2010 for two months; following this, the Commission, in a meeting held on 14th July, 2010, verified the issue of voter registration and then decided as follows:
(As the Voter Registration Process was already applied extensively throughout the country for Presidential and Provincial Councils’ Elections of 2009, by taking into consideration the operational plan of 2010 Wolesi Jirga Elections and not of the having the required technical facilities and sufficient budget, increasing the Voter Registration Centers and dispatching the Mobile Voter Registration Teams is far from possibility.)
The Electoral Complaints Commission, through an official letter has recently requested the IEC to increase Voter Registration Teams and if possible to extend the process; the IEC, in deference to the reasons of ECC, based on the increase of Voter Registration Teams and extension of the process, but by taking note of the decisions made already and the electoral timeline, officially announces the completion of the Voter Registration Process on country level.
Kabul, August 14, 2010 – The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) joined the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Saturday in calling for an extension to nationwide voter registration, and cautioned that an extended process should be carried out with tighter oversight to prevent electoral violations.
“Voter registration should be extended to allow more eligible citizens to register,” said FEFA executive director Jandad Spinghar. “At the same time, the IEC [Independent Election Commission] must be more careful not to allow the extension to become an opportunity for violations such as underage voter registration, proxy registration by men for women voters, and the distribution of multiple cards to individual voters.”
FEFA chairman Nader Nadery was quoted and FEFA’s observation mission referenced in Alissa Rubin’s August 11 New York Times article, ‘Unrest Is Undermining Hopes for Afghan Vote.’
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.
FEFA would like to clarify the breadth of its observation mission and intended Election Day observer deployment.
Currently, FEFA’s long-term observers are based in all 34 provinces to observe the campaigns at the provincial level, and volunteer observers are working in many districts as well.
Three factors will determine FEFA’s observer deployment at the district and local levels on Election Day 2010:
- The security situation in each potential observation area.
- The presence of a capable partner organization from which to recruit and train short-term observers.
- Observers’ access to communication facilities.
As a national civil society organization committed to strengthening the democratization process and protecting political rights, FEFA is determined to observe as many polling centers as possible, including centers located in insecure areas.
On Election Day, FEFA will have the widest presence of any observer organization in Afghanistan.
Kabul – July, 2010
Vetting of candidates for ties to illegal armed groups (IAGs) during this year’s electoral process was carried out in an uneven and non-transparent manner that ultimately undermined its effectiveness and credibility.
As an organization committed to supporting democratization in Afghanistan, FEFA shares the well-founded concerns of wider civil society about gunmen serving in elected office, and would welcome a robust and impartial vetting process. But there is no substitute for good vetting, and poorly-conducted vetting advances neither democratization nor the protection of human rights. FEFA is deeply concerned about the lack of transparency demonstrated by the electoral and vetting institutions and consequent opportunities for politically-biased decisions and violations of candidates’ political rights.
This special report expands on the vetting section of FEFA’s challenge period report, and includes updated information based on interviews FEFA observers conducted during the first week of July with 24 candidates disqualified from this year’s elections for links to IAGs. FEFA cannot confirm the claims made by vetted candidates, but intends, by publishing this report, to highlight the systemic shortfall of the responsible institutions and the necessity of reforms for future elections.