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The Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH) was entrusted with observing the process of the communal elections of June 12, 2009. It appointed 119 observers and 12 coordinators in 111 urban and rural communes where the CCDH regional sections have been established in addition to Marrakesh as a district-system urban commune.

The CCDH was careful to strengthen its capacity in terms of the observation process, the second of its kind after that of the 2007 legislative elections. Therefore, it developed the standards to choose the communes to be under observation and to choose the observers (more training, the principle of competence and proximity). Also, it enhanced coordination with the national and international civil society activists.

The CCDH ensured that the observation process falls within the scope of an approach which is not based only on direct observation of the polling day, but also on a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process, particularly in terms of the legal, institutional and political framework, electoral districting, registration in the lists, election campaigns and electoral conduct.

The report released by the CCDH following its observation process addressed many issues raised following the election process, which require the implementation of the mechanisms of scientific research (political and sociological studies) and legal jurisprudence. Also, they entail that new and flexible measures of the election process are adopted.

These issues concern namely the interdependence between the exercise of civil and political rights, such as the right to vote, and the access to economic, social and cultural rights, the facilitation of the voting of the persons with disabilities, employment of children in election campaigns, registration and voting of nomads and mobile workers, election in communes to which access is difficult, election communication (deadlines of registration, flexibility of election lists, challenges).

The fact that there is an increasing awareness of the mechanisms of the election process observation in terms of the implementation of the international mechanisms in the field, training for the teams of observers, data collection and processing, developments of reports, timing of announcing them and coordination with other activists, highlights the need to open a public debate on the institutionalization of the observation and the role of the observer in the Election Code as is the case in other election systems in other countries.

This issue of the CCDH Newsletter deals with the process of communal election observation. Also, it addresses many issues and topics, including the visit of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance and the work of Togo's truth, justice and reconciliation commission.

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