Conducting general elections in a day period requires strong security capacity,transportation facilities and robust capacity of electoral commissions. Lack of security and transportation capabilities and facilities in a country can challenge the polling process. In Afghanistan due to the ongoing escalating security and lack of other facilities nowadays the politicians have reached a conclusion that regional phased elections is a solution in tackling possible arise of challenges. Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) presents an analytical perspective for identifying the consequences being arisen from (Regionally Phased Conduct of Polling) in the light of objective condition and undertaking proper measures for its management. This analysis paper includes a legal framework on regionally/zonally phased polling, its advantages and shortcoming and existing potential for this type of elections, as well as explains likely consequences of it. It also entails some proposals that support positive impacts of regionally phased election and decline its negative consequences.
1. A Legal Framework on Regionally Phased Conduct of Election
Although in Constitution there is no clear reference on conducting elections on regional/zonal phase, the paragraph (4) of article (83) of this law emphasis on adoption of measures to ensure just and general representation for all people of the country. Paragraph (4) of article (104) of the new election apparently on the basis of this ruling of the Constitution gives the special committee an authorization to delay elections in one or few electoral constituencies in case of insecure situation and natural disasters that can hamper just and general representation of people until the situation is improved. Under the interpretations from paragraph (4) of article (83) of the Constitution, regionally phased conduct of elections is subject to the provision of general and just representation for all citizens. Similarly, according to paragraph (1) of article (83) of the Constitution that says Wolesi Jirga members should be elected through free, general, secret, and direct elections can be regarded as legal terms to conducting elections on regionally phased.
Wolesi Jirga members on Wednesday condemned yesterday’s series of attacks in the country and lashed out at the government for what said lacking foreign policy and security strategy.Tuesday’s attacks killed and wounded more than 350 people, including the police chief for southeastern Paktia province. Other attacks took place in Farah, Ghazni and Maidan Wardak provinces.Fakor Behashti, a lower house member from Bamyan province, condemned the attacks and said: “Whenever efforts for peace are accelerated, terrorist attacks also increase. First there should be a ceasefire ahead of peace talks because without ceasefire, talks will not produce results,” he said.Referring to the recent huddle of the Quadrilateral Cooperation Group (QCG) in Oman, the lawmaker said a peace strategy was needed to advance the parlays. Without a proper strategy in place, peace may not be established in the country, he believed.The QCG meeting involving representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US held on Tuesday in Muscat, the capital of Oman after a year-long gap.Abdul Qayyum Sajadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni province, said: “Nothing will be achieved by condemnations; the nation should take a decision because they are the prime victims of the daily bloodshed.”He critisised the government for having no clear foreign policy towards Pakistan and asked the Ghani-led administration to define its foreign policy principles.Sajadi said the main issue lied with the government because it lacked determination to crush the rebels. The government according to him has adopted a defensive position.He said insecurity and issues concerning the peace process could be resolved if a proper strategy was set to the parliament for approval.Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi denounced Tuesday’s attacks in Paktia, Ghazni, Farah and Maidan Wardak provinces and said continuation of such situation was not in the interest of Afghanistan and was a warning to the government and people of Afghanistan.Referring to the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, Ibrahimi said: “We hoped the situation would improve but things are getting worse.”He said the Taliban were changing their white flag with black flag of Daesh in the north of the country but the government was doing nothing.He demanded presentation of the contemporary foreign policy and security strategy to lawmakers for debate and approval.
1. Executive Summary
With an estimated two thirds of the population below the age of 25, a significant proportion of Afghans has come of age in the past 14 years.1 This new generation of young Afghans arguably holds different perspectives than the old political class living n memories of the Jihad and fight against the Taliban. However, while Afghan youth between 18 and 30 arguably constitute the majority of voters and actively participated in the last presidential elections of 2014,2 their effective role in policy and decision-making processes remains minimal, and young adults face multiple challenges in actively participating in political processes. More generally, the aspirations of the youth in Afghanistan, the challenges they meet in participating in democratic processes, and means for their political mobilization have received little concerted attention.Through its “Strengthening the Political Partnership of Youth in National Democratic Processes” (SPPY) project; Election Watch Organization of Afghanistan (EWA) attempts to address this issue. This study was undertaken as a first step in the project to inform advocacy for the mobilization of female and male Afghan youth by assessing their current aspirations and their conditions for participation in political processes. This is done through five objectives:
(i) To determine the priorities of Afghan youth,
(ii) To assess the challenges they face in participating in electoral processes and opportunities to overcome them,
(iii) To assess the extent to which they are involved in decision-making processes,
(iv) To evaluate the role of mobilizing institutions, such as political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs) in youth mobilization, and
(v) To assess the extent to which gender roles affect youth participation in decision-making and political processes.
In order to reach the above objectives, 34 consultative workshops with female and male youth were held in six provincial centers (Baghlan, Balkh, Herat, Kabul, Kandahar and Nangarhar) and 28 districts, with a total of 1300 female and male youth.
ETWA Concerns over Purchasing Electronic Equipment for (IEC)
The Election & Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) believes that every step toward improvement of election process must lead to public confidence in elections.Recently, The National Procurement Authority (NPA) on behalf of the National Unity Government (NUG) has reached out to 13 companies for quotations on electronic equipment for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) without consulting the political parties, civil societies and Afghan elites, which raised concerns about the lack of transparency and inclusiveness in this process.ETWA kindly urge (NUG) and (IEC) to win public trust and obey transparency & inclusiveness principles of elections through consulting with Afghan political elites, political parties and CSOs over providing the (IEC) with electronic equipment.
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