When are the Presidential and Provincial Council elections?
April 5, 2014.
What is the Presidential election?
The Presidential election is the democratic process through which Afghan citizens choose the President, First and Second Vice Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Presidential elections are held every five years, and like the National Assembly and Provincial Council Elections, they are carried out as fair, general, secret and direct elections.
Afghanistan ascribes to the presidential political system, whereby the head of state is a president directly elected by the people of the state. Under this system, the President is mandated to implement the 2004 Constitution and act in the interests of the people.
The President is responsible for, inter alia, acting as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, convening the loya jirga, appointing ministers and other high-level officials in conjunction with the Parliament, endorsing laws and judicial decrees, establishing commissions, proclaiming and terminating states of emergency and calling referendums.
Two vice presidents succeed the President in the case of absence, resignation, or death. They run with the President in the elections as one package.
How does a Presidential candidate win the election?
After receiving over 50% of votes in free, general, and secret balloting, the office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is held for five years. Presidential candidates must meet a number of minimum criteria, including being a citizen of Afghanistan, being over the age of 40 and not having been convicted of war crimes, or criminal acts.
If no candidate receives over 50% of votes after the first round of elections are completed, a second round of elections must be held within two weeks. Only the two candidates who receive the most votes are allowed to stand in the second round. The winner of the second round is then declared and sworn in as President.
How long is the President elected to office for?
According to the 2004 Constitution, the Presidential term expires on the 22 May of the fifth year after elections, with new elections being held between thirty and sixty days prior to the end of term.
Should the President resign or be deemed unfit to carry out the duties of the office, the First Vice President acts as Interim President until an election can be held. According to the Constitution, an election must be held within three months.
During that time, the First Vice President cannot amend the Constitution, dismiss ministers, or call a referendum. Additionally, Vice Presidents are required to nominate themselves as presidential candidates in the election.
What are the Provincial Council elections?
Each of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces hosts a Provincial Council, which is directly elected by the voters of that province. According to the 2004 Constitution, the Provincial Council is mandated to “participate in attainment of the development objectives of the state and improvement of the affairs of the province.
Provincial Councils advise and work closely with the provincial administration, the head of which, the Governor, is appointed by the President. They are obliged to elect by majority, from amongst their own elected members, one person to represent the province in the Meshrano Jirga for a term of four years.
Provincial Council elections are held every four years by residents of the province. Like the Presidential and Wolesi Jirga elections, Provincial Councils are elected by fair, general, secret, direct elections.
The number of seats in a Provincial Council is determined by the province’s population. Each Provincial Council is composed of between 7 and 31 seats
Fewer than 500,000 inhabitants
500,000 – 1,000,000 inhabitants
1,000,000 – 2,000,000 inhabitants
2,000,000 – 3,000,000 inhabitants
More than 3,000,000 inhabitants
At least one quarter of seats in each Provincial Council are reserved for female candidates. Women compete equally with men, but if not enough women win the top seats, the last seats in each Provincial Council will be allocated to female candidates to ensure that women hold the number of seats reserved for them by law.
Who can vote?
All Afghans who are 18 years of age or older, have Afghan citizenship, have not had his/her civil or political rights rescinded by a court of competent jurisdiction and carry a valid voter ID card.
What form of identification is necessary to vote?
Individuals with voter registration cards issued in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010 or 2013 are allowed to vote. Polling stations staff members will check for ink (to ensure individuals have not already voted), for eligibility, and for identity.
Where can I vote?
Registered voters can vote in the province where they are a resident. However, if a voter is Kuchi, he/she is allowed to vote in any province.
When can I vote?
Polling centers are opened for one full day – April 5, 2014.
How will the polling centres be organized?
Within a polling centre, there are male and female polling stations. In some centres there are also stations for Kuchis. In some provinces, the IEC establishes specific polling centres for Kuchis.
Not more than 600 voters are allowed to vote in any given polling station.
Who are the people who will oversee the voting process?
Polling staff, under the supervision of the District Field Coordinators, are the officials responsible for running centers/stations and processing voters.
Each polling station consists of the following staff members:
Each polling centre consists of the following staff members:
How do I vote?
Each voter must vote in person. Voting on behalf of another person is not permitted. Each voter must mark his/her ballots in secret behind the voting screen provided for this purpose. Family or group voting, where more than one person is behind the voting screen at a time, is not permitted. The elderly, people with disabilities, nursing and pregnant women are given preference in the polling queue. Finally, once a voter has cast a ballot he or she must leave the polling station.
Can women vote?
As women are citizens of Afghanistan, according to the Afghan Constitution, they have rights to vote as men do. There are separate polling centers with female staff to accommodate female voters. Female voters do not have to have a photo on their voting cards during registration and female security officers will be the ones inspecting female voters before they enter the voting centre.
How are the votes counted?
The counting of the voting ballots takes place immediately upon the conclusion of polling at the polling station. Each polling station chairperson is responsible for organising the count in his/her respective polling station.
Persons who may enter or remain for the count are:
Can I vote if I have special needs?
The IEC recognizes the need to facilitate access to polling for voters with special needs, including members of the Afghan National Army, police, internally displaced persons, prisoners (who have not been deprived from their civil and political rights by a court of law), or people that are hospitalized.