18 September 2010 Wolesi Jirga Election – Factsheet 1
Electoral Complaints Commission The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is an independent body established under Article 61 of the Electoral Law1 to adjudicate all challenges and complaints related to the electoral process. The ECC has the authority to impose sanctions and penalties if an offence is deemed to have been committed. ECC commissioners According to the Electoral Law, the ECC must be established at least 120 days before the election date by the President in consultation with the speakers of both the upper (Meshrano Jirga) and the lower (Wolesi Jirga) houses of Parliament and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The present body is composed of five commissioners (three national and two international): the Chairperson is Mr Justice Sayed Murad Sharifi (of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan) and the additional local members are Associate Professor Shah Sultan Akifi (Human Resources Director General at the Wolesi Jirga) and Mr Ahmad Zia Rafat (of the Faculty of Journalism at the University of Kabul). The two international members are Mr Safwat Sidqi of Iraq and Judge Johann Kriegler of South Africa. Provincial Electoral Complaints Commissions The ECC has its headquarters in Kabul (ECC HQ) but it is also represented in each of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan by a Provincial Electoral Complaints Commission (PECC). Each PECC has five commis‐ sioners in the six provinces with at least ten seats in the Wolesi Jirga, while the PECCs in the remaining 28 provinces each have three commissioners. This 1
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Presidential Decree, Electoral Law, 18 February 2010.
The Board of the 2010 Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC)
means that for the 2010 Wolesi Jirga elections there will be 114 Provincial Electoral Complaints Commissioners throughout Afghanistan. The PECC commissioners are assisted in their work by legal and investigative specialists who receive and inves‐ tigate complaints. Jurisdiction of ECC and PECCs The ECC and PECCs have jurisdiction to adjudicate challenges to candidate and voter eligibility and complaints arising from the electoral process (relating to campaigning, polling, counting etc). In the absence of a formal challenge or complaint the ECC or a PECC can take the initiative in considering an issue within its jurisdiction. A PECC has primary jurisdiction regarding challenges and complaints that arise in its province and any of its decisions may be appealed to the ECC by any affected party. ECC decisions, however, are final and binding.
The ECC and PECCs must wind up their activities within two months of the certification of the election results and transfer their responsibilities to the Independent Election Commission.
Challenges The ECC is responsible for the adjudication of challenges brought against voters who do not comply with the provisions of Article 11 and candidates who do not comply with the provisions of Article 12(2) or (7) or 13(1)(5) of the Electoral Law. By the end of the period for challenges against aspirant candidates, the ECC had ordered the removal of one candidate from the final candidate list for providing false information as to his identity, 7 because they had not resigned from their official positions timeously, and 36 because they had been found to be members of illegal armed groups. Electoral offences Article 63 of the Electoral Law lists the following electoral offences: a) Providing false information to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and its related commis‐sions b) Threatening, intimidating or attacking the dignity of a voter, candidate, journalist covering the election or permanent or temporary election employee, or using force against them c) Preventing anyone, including accredited observers and agents, from participating in the electoral process d) Fraud in balloting or vote‐counting e) Offering or accepting money or any other benefit to influence the electoral process f) Possessing, or attempting to obtain, more than one voter registration card or other document issued by the IEC g) Voting or attempting to vote using a fraudulent, forged or altered card or the card of another person h) Altering, substituting, stealing or destroying electoral documents without legal authority i) Duplicating, using or keeping false voter registration cards or other documents certified by the IEC, ballot papers or official forms j) Fraudulently obtaining a voter registration card or other document certified by the IEC
k) Attempting to vote more than once in an election l) Unauthorized tampering with election materials or ballot boxes m) Interfering with electoral officials in the perform‐ance of their duties n) Violating the code of conduct for political parties and candidates, their agents or election officials o) Use of funds originating from illegal activities p) Use of foreign funds to influence the electoral process q) Inciting or provoking another person to commit an electoral offence r) Violating the provisions of the law, regulations or procedures governing the electoral process s) Nonobservance of IEC, ECC, PECC or Media Commission procedures t) Use of any kind of symbol, colour, slogan or other sign assigned to a candidate by other candidates or their polling‐station agents u) Other violations specified in regulations and procedures Sanctions and penalties In the event of a violation, the ECC/PECC may adopt one of these measures in accordance with Article 64 of the Electoral Law: a) Issue a warning, or an order to take remedial action, to the offending individual or organisation b) Impose a cash penalty of up to 500,000 Afghanis, in line with the circumstances c) Adopt a decision to rerun an election or recount votes before certification of results d) Remove a candidate from the candidate list e) Invalidate ineligible ballot papers or order the count or recount of one or more ballot papers f) Prohibit an offender from serving in any commission for a period of up to 10 years If an offender is a member or supporter of a political party, or a supporter of a candidate, the ECC/PECC may impose sanctions on the party or candidate concerned. The ECC/PECC may also refer an offender for prosecution if it has evidence that the offence constitutes a crime.
For further information please visit www.ecc.org.af If questions remain, contact ECC Public Outreach – 079 834 0131 – email@example.com
Published on Sep 17, 2010
Published on Sep 17, 2010
This factsheet highlights key information about the role of the Electoral Complaints Commission of Afghanistan during the Wolesi Jirga Elect...