The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) have released this report on Afghanistan political and election reform developments based on a mission they conducted in Kabul last month. Recently, the National Unity Government passed a new election law and appointed new election commissions. Now the government is considering when and how to conduct overdue parliamentary elections.
The report features observations on the National Unity Government two years since its establishment, the country’s present political environment, and the ongoing electoral reform process – including the current discourse on electoral systems, electoral constituencies, and their effect on political competition. The report also includes recommendations to support the electoral reform process, particularly during the new election commission’s ongoing assessment of electoral constituencies and development of election plans.
The report is informed by meetings with much of Afghanistan’s political leadership, including President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, former President Hamid Karzai, heads of political parties as well as civil society representatives, women activists, youth groups, media, and members of the international community in Afghanistan.
The mission’s delegation included Dr. Karin von Hippel, director-general of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI); Peter Manikas, NDI senior associate and regional director for Asia; Scott Worden, USIP director for Afghanistan and Central Asia programs; and Raissa Tatad-Hazell, NDI deputy regional director for Asia.