ElectionGudie

Sept. 18, 2010 Confirmed

10,300,000
Registered to Vote
Afghanistan

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Election for Meshrano Jirga (Afghani House of Elders)

More Info:

At stake in this election:

  • 249 seats in the House of People (Wolesi Jirga)

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Hamid KARZAI *
  • Head of Government: President Hamid KARZAI
  • Assembly: Afghanistan has a bicameral National Assembly (Jirga) consisting of the House of Elders (Meshrano Jirga) with 102 seats and the House of People (Wolesi Jirga) with 249 seats.

* The president is both chief of state and head of government.

Description of electoral system:

  • The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 5-year term.
  • In the House of Elders (Meshrano Jirga), 34 members are elected by regional legislatures to serve 4-year terms, 34 members are elected by regional legislatures to serve 3-year terms and 34 members are appointed by the President to serve 5-year terms*. In the House of People (Wolesi Jirga) 249 members are elected by single non-transferable vote to serve 5-year terms.**

* Each Provincial Council elects one of its members to the House of Elders under a two-round system. (4-year term.) Each District Council elects one of its members to the House of Elders under a two-round system. (3-year term.) Due to the fact that district boundaries had not yet been established, District Councils did not elect members to the House of Elders in 2005. To compensate, provincial councils each elected two members.

** There are 34 multi-member districts corresponding to the 34 provinces. Seats are allocated in proportion to provincial population. District magnitudes range from 2 to 33. There are 34 multi-member districts corresponding to the 34 provinces. Seats are allocated in proportion to provincial population. District magnitudes range from 2 to 33. The constitution reserves 68 seats to women. However, even if a female candidate receives enough votes to win a seat without the quota system, she is still awarded a reserve seat.

Main parties in the electoral race:

  • Independent(s): Non-partisans*

* Afghanistan's SNTV system makes forming political parties nearly impossible, as any alliance that existed would have to run its own candidates against each other. There is usually a very high number of candidates competing for a much smaller number of seats. This allows many candidates to be elected with only a very small percentage of total votes cast.

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 33,609,937 (July 2009 est.)
  • Registered Voters: 10,300,000 ( Registered voter number is an estimate from 2004. Source: Press briefing by Manoel de Almeida e Silva, UNAMA Spokesman, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Aug 22, 2004. Elections are held with no voter registry.)