The Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan with financial support of UNDP/ELECT organized the BRIDGE Election Dispute Resolution training program from 5-8 May 2012 in Kabul at IEC head quarter.
The IEC conduced four elections from 2004-2010 , after decades of war conducting the election was a big challenge for Afghanistan , the IEC was faced with lots of challenges in conducting free and fair election which the people of Afghanistan and international societies were expecting from this organization ; the worse security situations, the illiteracy or low knowledge of people, not having strong political parties , lack of people awareness about election , lack of capacity in providing the election materials inside the country , were the issues which caused to be faced with challenges . To respect the right of the people and the transparency of the process there was established temporary Election Complaint Commission to deal with all the complaints and objections of election , as the election was a new experience for us dealing with all these complaints and objections were new experiences too . In 2010 election the interfering of different other entities in resolving the election disputes crated lots of problems and challenges for IEC.
The IEC recognized that it’s important to build the capacity of its staff on resolving the election disputes and they should get experience from other countries and be familiar with international standards on resolving all election related challenges. IEC decided to conduct the BRIDGE Electoral Dispute Resolution training program for its staff.
The program was organized for 34 Provincial Election officers and 2 staff from legal department was attended too.
The program facilitated by Shahla Haque, Mr.Awalul Rahman Rodwal (workshop facilitator) and three semi accredited facilitators; Mr.Ahmadsha Wahedi, Mr.Rockai Mehran and Mr.Abdul Rahim Nawakhtyar.
The program conducted based on BRIDGE methodologies with some amendment in agenda (sequences of topics and time), participants were actively attended in all group activities, discussions and role plays, all participants except 6 of them were familiar with BRIDGE used methodologies because they had already attended in different BRIDGE programs in past and some of them were BRIDGE facilitators too.
All topics were interesting for them but the most important topics were ; kind of EDR organizations ( some of them were thinking there is only election complain commission which is dealing with disputes as we have in Afghanistan), kind of disputes , legal framework for EDR, International standards , Florida case studies , cause of disputes…
Feedback from participant’s at the last day of evaluations:
At the end the participants thanked from BRIDGE team, UNDP and IEC training department for organizing the program, they suggested for continuing these programs for IEC staff. Participants were issued the BRIDGE certificate.