Oct. 20, 2018 Held


Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Election for Wolesi Jirga (Afghan House of People)

General Information

Results: Official results were originally due by December 20, 2018, but were postponed until May 2019, when the last seats were announced. A full list of candidates by province is available here and on the IEC website here. As of May 2019, elections had not been held in the province of Ghazni.

At stake in this election:

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

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Ashraf GHANI*
  • Head of Government: President Ashraf GHANI
  • 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. 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*
  • Party: Islamic Society / Jamiat-e-Islami
    • Salahuddin RABBANI
  • Party: People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan / Hezb-e Wahdat Islami Mardum-e Afghanistan
    • Mohammed MOHAQIQ
  • Party: Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan / Hezb-e-Wahadat-e-Islamiye
    • Karim KHALIL
  • Party: Republican Party of Afghanistan / Hezb-e-Jamhoori-Aghanistan
    • Sebghatullah SANJAR
  • Party: National Islamic Movement of Afghanistant / Junbish-i-Milli Islami Afghanistan
    • Leader: Abdul Rashid DOSTUM

* Afghanistan's SNTV system makes political parties’ participating difficult, 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. Candidates may identify with parties, but parties cannot participate as such.

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 36,373,176 (2018 est.)
  • Registered Voters: 12,000,000 (2010 est.)

Gender Data:

  • Female Population: 17,637,881 (2018 est.)
  • Is Afghanistan a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (14 August 1980)
  • Has Afghanistan ratified CEDAW: Yes (5 March 2003)
  • Gender Quota: Yes
  • Female candidates in this election: Yes
  • Number of Female Parliamentarians: 69 (House of Peoples); 18 (House of Elders)
  • Human Development Index Position: 168 (2018)
  • Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: High (2014)

Disability Data:

  • Is Afghanistan a signatory to CRPD: No
  • Has Afghanistan ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (18 September 2012)
  • Population with a disability: 4,884,651 (2018 est.)
Election Modified: Aug 17, 2023

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With Participation Rates