18 September 2010 Wolesi Jirga Election – Factsheet 2
CHALLENGES: Legal basis, procedures and outcomes According to the Electoral Law there are five main conditions for an aspirant candidate for the Wolesi Jirga elections: 1. Basic requirements: Be an Afghan citizen, be at least 25 years old, be registered as a voter, and not have been convicted of a crime against humanity or a criminal act or have been deprived of civil rights by a court. [Article 12(2) of the Electoral Law] 2. Resignation of public officials: Ministers, civil servants, IEC staff members or others cited in the law must resign from their positions before registering as candidates. [Art. 13(1)] 3. Supporters: The names, voter‐card numbers and signatures or thumbprints of 1,000 registered voters who support the individual’s candidacy must be submitted. [Art. 43(2)5] 4. Cash deposit: Each aspirant candidate must deposit 30,000 Afghanis, refundable under certain conditions. [Art. 43(4)2] 5. Armed groups: Members of illegal armed groups may not run for election. [Art. 12(7)] These basic conditions are evaluated by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) upon receipt of candidate information. The IEC is empowered to exclude those who do not fulfil the first four conditions from the preliminary list of candidates.
ECC Commissioners Safwat Sidqi and Ahmad Zia Rafat report to the media on names removed from the final candidate list: 7 July 2010
For the fifth condition, the responsibility for vetting candidates is carried by a separate ad hoc commission known as the “Vetting Commission”, comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Security Directorate and chaired by a member of the IEC [Article 12(7) of the Electoral Law]. This Vetting Commission forwards the names of those on the preliminary candidate list whom it has found to be members of illegal armed groups to the ECC, which then instructs the IEC to remove these names from the list. The Vetting Commission ceases to exist upon publication of the final candidate list.
Role of the Electoral Complaints Commission The Electoral Law gives the ECC jurisdiction over challenges to the voter and candidate lists and to the eligibility or qualifications of any candidate that may arise during the electoral process. [Art. 62 (1) a]
The ECC takes decisions on challenges regarding candidates who have been excluded by the IEC, on challenges to candidates on the candidate list and voters on the voter list, and on complaints alleging electoral offences.
altered from party representation to personal candidacy. Membership of illegal armed groups Thirty six aspirant candidates were found by the Vetting Commission to be members of illegal armed groups. The Vetting Commission was instructed by the ECC to allow these individuals the opportunity to exonerate themselves, but none succeeded in doing so. The ECC therefore instructed the IEC to omit these 36 names from the final candidate list.
The ECC decides whether to remove a candidate from the candidate list. ECC decisions are final and binding. Challenge period The initial challenge period ran from 5 May to 6 June 2010 but it was extended until 7 July owing to delays in the disqualification of those found to be members of illegal armed groups. During this period the ECC received hundreds of challenges from aspirant candidates who questioned IEC decisions disqualifying them for not fulfilling the basic requirements. In addition 88 challenges related to electoral offences during the nomination process. Here are the details of the ECC decisions on challenges: Defects in candidacy documentation The ECC received challenges relating to 226 aspirant candidates’ defective documentation. Such individuals were given five days to correct the problems with their documentation – in all cases these were related to the voter cards presented in support of candidacies. In the event 195 of the 226 satisfied the requirements and assured their status on the candidate list. Other challenges Seventy‐nine of the 90 individual challenges were dismissed, largely because the allegations did not constitute electoral offences. Seven names were ordered to be removed from the candidate list because of the individuals’ failure to resign from their official positions before nomination, and one for providing false registration information as to his identity. One registration was ordered to be
Photo: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, AREU
Complaints period The campaign period commences after publication of the final candidate list and culminates on Election Day, with balloting followed by counting, tallying and certification of the final results. Throughout this time the ECC/PECCs receive, investigate and adjudicate complaints and where appropriate impose sanctions and penalties. Challenges to voters’ eligibility can be dealt with up to and including Election Day.
For further information please visit: www.ecc.org.af If questions remain, contact: ECC Public Outreach ‐‐ 079 834 0131 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This factsheet highlights key information about the role of the Electoral Complaints Commission of Afghanistan during the Wolesi Jirga Elect...