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Monitoring Report on the Performance of Selection Committee of Election Bodies

The Selection process of new commissioners for electoral bodies through the Selection Committee (SC) is one of the significant processes of electoral reform.

This round of electoral reform is of great importance owing to the appointment of eligible and experienced individuals because their work directly affects the activities and impartiality of election bodies in attempt to restore public confidence on electoral bodies and future elections at all. But the main concern is this that if this process is unproductive and ineffective; would we be able to hold better elections than the past to fulfil the expectation of people and international community.

According to the new electoral law[1], the current SC with new combination comprises five members, who represent the Supreme Court, Independent Commission on Overseeing the Constitution of Afghanistan, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and two others from election-related civil society and women rights institutions each. This committee started work on 10/28/2016 and come to an end on 11/11/2016. ETWA monitors regularly observed its sessions.

The SC, which received support of a secretariat from inside the presidential office, has assessed 720 applications within a month time and introduced list of individuals to the president, including 21 persons for IEC and 15 for IECC.  Of them, the president would pick seven persons as commissioners for IEC and five for IECC.

The Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) as an independent, impartial and national election observation organization has closely monitored the working process of the SC and presents the below findings:

Methodology and Observational Focus:

ETWA observation focus during the selection process of election commissioners by Selection Committee was adhered to below principles:

  1. Assessment of Legal Structure of Selection of Election Bodies Commissioners.
  2. Adhering to the Criteria of Transparency and Accountability (Openness of Sessions to Monitors and Media Outlets. Release of Necessary Documents).
  3. Adhering to the Principle of Justice and Indiscrimination During Selection Process (Objection Mechanism, Equal Treatment.)
  4. Adhering to Professional Methods and Procedures During Selection Process (Using Professional Methods for Identifying Capabilities of Potential Candidates.)
  5. Assessment of the Role of Representatives of Civil Society in the SC.

ETWA monitors despite keeping a close eye on the assessment of aforementioned criteria, regular and direct attendance at the SC’s sessions, have also conducted interviews with 27 candidates of this process. Later, the findings brought into the form of an analytical report by ETWA team following its overall evaluation and assessment. This report consists certain suggestions to improve selection process of election commissioners in future as well as it include explanations of the findings gained.

[1] - Article 13 of Election Law

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