Press Release: About Conducting of Parliamentary Election in Ghazni, Provincial Council Elections, District Council Elections and Municipality Elections in Major Cities

19 January 2021-Kabul

The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) welcomes announcement of preparation of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for conducting the parliamentary election in Ghazni, provincial council elections, district council elections, and municipality elections in major cities and support of government from this plan. FEFA believes conducting and managing elections is the legal duty of IEC and paving the ground for conducting elections is the duty of government but expresses its concerns over lack of the necessary capacity and facilities for conducting 4 elections at one year. The IEC must have taken the necessary steps toward implementing the reforming programs to reform all stages of the election process before finalizing their plan for conducting the upcoming elections. Moreover, they must have considered all reforming proposals of election watchdog organizations and political parties on electoral reform. The IEC must have conducted consultation meetings with all election relevant organizations to gain their views on conducting 4 elections at the same year. IEC must make it clear whether it conduct all 4 elections at the same time or different period of times in coming year.

The government must provide information about providing of the necessary budget for conducting the upcoming elections and specify the financial resources. If these elections are funded from the national budget, it must be added into the national budget document for the fiscal year 1400 and share with the parliament and if it is funded from foreign sources, the sources must be specified.

One of the substantive principles of election is its generality but the worse security situation of Afghanistan will result to lack of implementation of this principle. Currently, the security situation of all provinces including Kabul is worse and concerning and conducting elections in such a situation will be full of challenges and problems. Therefore, the Afghan government must work on realistic and implementable security plan for elections. The government must undertake a plan to provide security of polling centers, poll workers, observers, voters and ensure the public that it’s capable of providing security. If the government fail to provide the pre-conditions and pave the ground for an acceptable election, it can’t strictly defend the republic, democracy and the most important principle of democracy means elections on the negotiation table with the Taliban. Therefore, must try its best to conduct a relatively acceptable elections.

The Afghan government must also have an analysis of the status quo specially the peace talks and its impacts and results on election process to prevent negative impinges of peace process on election. Afghanistan is in a very sensitive situation and every step must be taken cautiously and carefully to prevent from harming the democracy and public trust to national processes.

Download the full press release here: "About Conducting of Parliamentary Election in Ghazni, Provincial Council Elections, District Council Elections and Municipality Elections in Major Cities"

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