Election Management

There are three election management bodies (EMBs) responsible for holding free and fair elections in Afghanistan: The Independent Election Commission (IEC), the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), and the Electoral Media Commission.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) is established to administer and supervise every kind of elections, including referendum.

IEC was set up following the dissolution of the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) in 2006.    The JEMB resulted from a merger between the Interim Afghan Election Commission (IAEC) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Electoral Component (UNAMAEC). The JEMB was established by Presidential decree in July 2003 with a mandate to administer all elections during the transitional period as defined by the Bonn Agreement.  It was primarily responsible for the conduct of the 2004 and 2005 elections in Afghanistan.   The JEMB was dissolved 30 days after the inaugural session of the National Assembly, and as of 2006, the IEC, which is essentially a fully Afghan led institution with its own financial resources supported through the Afghan National Budget has been in sole charge of all election activities in the country.   

According to Article 156 of the Constitution, the IEC has the authority and responsibility to administrate and supervise all kind of elections as well as refer to general public opinion of the people, in accordance with the provision of the law. It is made up of seven electoral commissioners appointed by Presidential Decree No. 21, dated 19 January 2005.    The board of commissioners consists of a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson and five members.  The commission is an oversight body, responsible for the overall policy making and supervision of the process of the elections. The IEC secretariat is the executive body of the commission. Professional electoral staff of the secretariat are implementing decisions, regulations and procedures adopted by IEC.   The planning and execution of electoral operations, including candidate registration, polling and counting will be conducted by the IEC secretariat, which is headed by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and two Deputy CEOs.

The IEC is responsible for administering the following elections and is authorized to supervise any elections in the country:

  1. Presidential Elections
  2. Wolesi Jirga Elections
  3. Provincial Council Elections
  4. District Council Elections
  5. Village Council Elections
  6. Municipal Council Elections
  7. Elections for mayors’ offices
  8. Referendum

At present, IEC’s strategic goals are:

  1. Strengthening an atmosphere of trust and building support of stakeholders for the electoral process
  2. Reducing the electoral expenses through capacity building, infrastructural development and better management of resources
  3. Proving the IEC as one of the best institutions in the country
  4. Conducting elections in accordance with the Law

The  Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is the independent body mandated to resolve objections and complaints concerning election processes. It is authorized to resolve complaints related to fraud, vote-buying, threats, and violence. It also addresses objections against the eligibility of candidates and is authorized to remove names from the list. ECC impose fines and orders election recounts if election violations are proven.

Another body tasked to monitor fair reporting of media during the campaign period is the Electoral Media Commission.  It is tasked to monitor coverage of election campaigns by the mass media and receives complaints on violations against fair reporting and on violations on mass media code of conduct. It is also tasked to monitor media’s compliance during the cooling period. Voters, political parties, and candidates can file a complaint before the EMC, these complaints are reviewed and when necessary referred to the Ministry of Information and Culture. EMC presents its work report to IEC.

Resources :

Electoral Management Body
Link : Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) official website
PDF : Joint Electoral Management Body regional organizational chart
PDF : Joint Electoral Management Body provincial organizational chart
PDF : Cost of Registration and Elections in Afghanistan – Author Staffan Darnolf describes challenges and solutions managed by the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) tasked with organizing the 2004 elections in Afghanistan.
PDF : Manual for Polling: Wolesi Jirga & Provincial Council Elections (JEMB: 2005)
PDF : Manual for Polling: Wolesi Jirga & Provincial Council Elections (JEMB: 2005) (Dari)
PDF : Manual for Polling: Wolesi Jirga & Provincial Council Elections (JEMB: 2005) (Pashto)
PDF : Manual for Registration: Wolesi Jirga & Provincial Council Elections (JEMB: 2005)
PDF : Manual for Registration: Wolesi Jirga & Provincial Council Elections (JEMB: 2005) (Pashto)
PDF : Manual for Vote Counting: Wolesi Jirga & Provincial Council Elections (JEMB: 2005) (Pashto)
PDF : Decree on Working Procedure of IEC 2014 Election Regulations and Procedures
PDF : Regulation on Voter Registration
PDF : Regulation on Accrediting Political Parties, Independent Candidates, Observer Organizations and Media
PDF : Regulation on Registration of Candidates
PDF : Regulation on Election Campaign Period
PDF : Regulation on Managing Campaign Finance during 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council Elections
PDF : Polling Regulation
PDF : Vote Counting Regulation
PDF : Regulation on Tallying, Certification and Announcement of Election Results
PDF : Regulation on Cancellation and Invalidation of the Votes as a Result of the Audit and Investigation
PDF : Regulation on Participation of Agents and Observers of National and International Organizations in Open Meetings of IEC
PDF : Regulation on Introducing New Vice Presidential Candidate In case of his/her Death, Resignation or Refractory Disease which are Hindrances to his/her Candidacy
PDF : Regulation on Establishment of Media Commission
PDF : Regulation on Media Activities during Elections
PDF : Regulation on Temporary Electoral Staff Recruitment
PDF : Regulation on Special Guests’ Attendance at Different Electoral Processes
PDF : Regulation on Validity Time, Archiving and Destroying Sensitive Electoral Materials
PDF : Procedure for Addressing the Media related Violations in the Electoral Process
PDF : Voter Registration Update Procedures
PDF : National Tally Center (NTC) Operations Procedures
PDF : Procedures And Guidelines For Entry To The IEC Compound And Observation Of The National Tally Center
PDF : Audit and Recount Procedure
PDF : Run – Off Updated Polling and Counting Procedures
PDF : Audit and Recount Procedure 2014 Presidential Run-off Elections
PDF : Audit Checklist Data Entry Procedures
PDF : Procedures for the Review of Claims of Similarly Signed Results Sheets
PDF : Procedure for Electing One-third Members of the Mishrano Jirga(MJ) and Administrative Board of Provincial Council 2014
PDF : Presidential Decree of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Code of Conduct of Security Forces in Election Process (2014)
PDF : Presidential Decree on Code of Conduct for Government Department Officials and Staff in 2014 Elections
PDF : Presidential Decree on Non-Interference of Government Officials in 2014 Run-Off Presidential Election Process
PDF : Presidential Decree on Code of Conduct for Security Forces in 2014 Run-Off Election 2013 Elections
PDF : Regulation on Polling (Dari)
PDF : Regulation on the Registration of Candidates (Dari)
PDF : Regulation on Media Activities During Elections (Dari)

2010 Election Regulations and Procedures
PDF : Regulation on Counting
PDF : Electoral Challenges and Complaints Regulation
PDF : Regulation on Electoral Campaigns
PDF : Regulation on Campaign Finance Disclosure by Wolesi Jirga Candidates
PDF : Regulation on Recruitment of Temporary Staff
PDF : Regulation on Registration of Candidates
PDF : Regulation on Vetting Commission
PDF : Regulation on Voter Registration
PDF : Regulation on Media Commission Establishment and Mass Media Activities
PDF : Regulation on Accreditation of observers, reporters and agents of political parties and independent candidates
PDF : Regulation on Allocation of Wolesi Jirga Seats for Women
PDF : Regulation Relevant to Special Guests’ Attendance at Voter Registration, Voting and Vote Counting Centers
PDF : Regulation on Certification of Election Results
PDF : Polling Regulation
PDF : Procedures for Nomination of Presidential Candidates
PDF : Procedures for Nomination of Provincial Council Candidates
PDF : Procedure on Verification of Mass Media Infringements and Violations during the Electoral Processes
PDF : Procedure on Implementation of the Decisions of Electoral Complaints Commission
PDF : Procedure on Verifying Challenges and Complaints in Relation to Correcting Preliminary Results of 2010 Wolesi Jirga Elections

2009 Election Regulations
PDF : Electoral Campaign Regulation
PDF : Regulation on Political Campaign Finance
PDF : Electoral Challenges and Complaints Regulation
PDF : Regulation on Certification of Election Results
PDF : Regulation on Information Technology (IT)
PDF : Regulation on Temporary Election Staff
PDF : Regulation relevant to special guests’ attendance at voter registration, voting and vote counting center
PDF : Polling Regulation
PDF : Media Commission Establishment and Mass Media Activity Regulation
PDF : Regulation on Counting
PDF : Candidates’ Registration Regulation
PDF : Archiving and Destruction of Sensitive Electoral Materials Regulation
PDF : IEC Regulation on increase of Voter Registration Centers
PDF : Regulation on Voter Registration
PDF : Regulation on Accreditation of Observers, Reporters, and Agents of Political Parties and Independent Candidates

PDF : FAQ: Voter Registration
PDF : FAQ: Additional Polling Stations to Accommodate the Run-Off Election
PDF : FAQ: Agents, Observers, and Media at the National Tally Center
PDF : FAQ: Accreditation
PDF : FAQ: The Independent Election Commission
PDF : FAQ: Electoral Integrity
PDF : FAQ: The Independent Election Commission Media Commission
PDF : FAQ: Ballot Papers and Contingency Plans
PDF : FAQ: Women as Candidates
PDF : FAQ: Women and Voting
PDF : FAQ: Audit-Related Decision-Making and Determining which Ballots are Counted
PDF : FAQ: Audit of 2014 Run-Off Election Results
PDF : FAQ: Run-Off Election
PDF : FAQ: Ballot Counting and Tally
PDF : FAQ: 2014 Election Results Audit and Recount
PDF : FAQ: Outstanding Election Results (Results of 444 Problematic Polling Stations)

Ballot Paper
JPG : Ballot paper (2014)

PDF : Election Audits: International Principles that Protect Election Integrity (IFES: 2015)
PDF : 2004 Afghanistan General Election Operational Plan Outline (JEMB)
PDF : Voter Registration Trainers Manual: Process and Training Section Afghanistan Voter Registration (JEMB: 2003-2004)
PDF : An Assessment of the Independent Election Commission Performance November 21, 2016 – March 20, 2017 (FEFA: 2017)


Google Analytics : LINK