DG Roundup: September 4-10, 2013

Sept. 10, 2013, 4:13 p.m.

DG Roundup is ElectionGuide.org’s newest feature. Once a week, DG Roundup will give an overview of developments in democracy and governance from around the world. Afghanistan: President Hamid KARZAI has signed a legislative decree to increase the size of the Wolesi Jirga by one seat. The new seat would be reserved for members of Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities, which combined equal around 4,000 people in the country. President KARZAI issued the decree while signing the Cabinet amendments to the electoral law. The Parliament had not included text relating to a reserved seat for Hindus and Sikhs in the election law. The President of Afghanistan has the power to issue legislative decrees while Parliament is not in session, which is what he used to create the extra seat. The decree will be submitted to the National Assembly of Afghanistan when it resumes its session. India: The Election Commission has proposed a ten-point plan to curb the use of black money in advance of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission’s proposals were sent to all of the recognized political parties for feedback before enacting the standards. Among the proposed regulations, the Election Commission has proposed that all donations must be deposited within recognized bank accounts in an effort to increase transparency. New Zealand: The government of New Zealand has announced that it will trial online voting for the 2016 local government elections. Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) hopes that by moving to online voting, that turnout will increase in the local polls. The amendments to the election law will allow voters to register online to participate in the election and for the usage of electronic polling machines on election day. According to Local Government Minister Chris TREMAIN, it is likely that the trials will occur in the municipalities of Porirua and Manawatu. Before online voting will be trialed, a working group will work to discuss the security, costs, and options involved with online voting, who will work with Internal Affairs to draft regulations for online voting.

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