Washington, DC — The National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and the International Republican Institute (IRI) are supporting nonpartisan, domestic election observation groups to monitor Afghanistan’s October 20 parliamentary elections. Through assistance programs conducted by the three organizations, over 6,500 Afghan observers will be deployed throughout the country and be present in all 33 provinces scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on October 20.
The observer groups — Afghan Civil Society Forum Organization (ACSFO), Afghan Amputee Bicyclists for Rehabilitation and Recreation (AABRAR), Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWOA), Free and Fair Election of Afghanistan Organization (FEFAO), Transparent Elections Foundation of Afghanistan Organization (TEFA) and the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan (WADAN) — will monitor the voting and counting processes across the country. After Election Day, the groups will observe the post-election period, including the complaints period and the announcement of electoral results. In addition, AABRAR and the Afghan Landmines Survivors Organization (ALSO) will observe election accessibility issues for persons with disabilities.
Women comprise 40 percent of the total number of observers to be mobilized by all groups. Ongoing coordination among the groups aims to enable observers to cover as many districts and polling centers as possible throughout the country.
The nonpartisan citizen election observation seeks to deter and expose fraud, mitigate the potential for electoral violence, contribute to electoral integrity, help create government accountability, and strengthen citizen participation in the electoral process. In the days surrounding the elections, the observer groups plan to publicly issue reports on their observation findings and share information with the Afghan people on how the elections took place across the country.
This program to support civic engagement in Afghanistan’s electoral process is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Over the past 35 years, NDI has supported the efforts of more than 300 election monitoring groups around the world that have deployed over four million citizen observers. NDI has conducted assistance programs in Afghanistan since 2002. For more information, visit www.ndi.org.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections. Its independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies. For more information, visit www.ifes.org.
The International Republican Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide. IRI enables political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, helps citizens to participate in government planning, and works to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process. Since 1983, IRI has monitored 205 elections in 57 countries through international observation missions and assessments. Visit www.iri.org to learn more.