Democracy International Calls for Increased Security for Campaigning

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"At this critical juncture of the country’s political development there can be no greater security task than providing a safe environment in which to hold this election"

    Democracy International condemns the recent deadly attacks against parliamentary candidates and their supporters in Afghanistan and calls on the security forces of Afghanistan to direct more resources to the protection of candidates and their supporters.
    At this critical juncture of the country's political development there can be no greater security task than providing a safe environment in which to hold this election. This government should take the opportunity to show that it has the ability to protect candidates and their supporters from enemies of a democratic Afghanistan.
    On September 18, 2010 more than 2,500 candidates will contest 249 seats in the lower house of the Afghan parliament, the Wolesi Jirga. Democracy International will deploy international observers throughout Afghanistan in support of this election process.
    At least three candidates and five campaign workers have been killed in this year's election campaign, according to media reports.

    U.S. based Democracy International, Inc. (DI) provides analytical services, offers technical assistance, and implements democracy and governance projects worldwide for USAID and other development partners. DI offers expertise across the full range of democracy and governance programming. DI conducted international observation missions to Afghanistan's 2009 election as well as Pakistan's 2008 elections. Over the past decade, Democracy International has worked in more than 40 countries and in all regions of the world. Since 1985, DI's principals have advised and worked with election management bodies, civil society and election-monitoring organizations, political parties, legislatures, government agencies, and others in more than 70 countries. For updated information on DI's 2010 Election Observation Mission to Afghanistan join our mailing list by emailing [email protected] and follow DI's twitter feed: DI_Kabul.
    Democracy International, Inc. • 4802 Montgomery Lane • Bethesda, Maryland 20814 USA
    Phone +1-301-961-1660 • • Twitter: DemocracyIntl


    Some background on the violence
    Candidates and election workers killed during the campaign, according to local and foreign news reports:
    July 23: Sayedullah Sayed was killed when a bomb planted in a mosque detonated shortly before Friday prayers in Khost province.
    August 6: Decapitated body of candidate Najibullah Gulistani found in Ghazni province. He had been missing for 18 days before his body was found.
    August 28: Candidate Haji Abdul Manan, shot and killed as we was leaving a mosque on a motorbike in Herat.
    August 29: Five election workers for female candidate Fauzia Galani found murdered in westernHerat province. The men had been tied up and then shot. Five other men who were kidnapped with the group were reportedly released some days before.
    August 30: A parliamentary election candidate escaped unhurt but his campaigner was killed in a bomb attack in western Faryab province on Monday, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. HajiNaqeebullah Faiq was the target of the explosion but it was his deputy campaign chief that was killed, and three others wounded in the bombing.

    Some references on election violence

  •     IPU,Inter-Parliamentary Union Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections,art. 4(8):"States should take the necessary measures to ensure that parties, candidates and supporters enjoy equal security, and that State authorities take the necessary steps to prevent electoral violence."
  •     IPU,Inter-Parliamentary Union Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections,art. 3(5):"The right of candidates to security with respect to their lives and property shall be recognized and protected."
  •     EU, Handbook for European Union Election Observation, Second Edition,p. 48: "Following their registration, candidates should not be subject to interference, including any pressure, coercion or intimidation, or attempts to force their withdrawal."



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