As mentioned earlier, it may also be necessary for certain elements of a host country agreement, in particular those that protect data collected during the process, to remain in force after the expiry of an agreement or letter of intent. Such a clause would be particularly appropriate to protect against the disclosure of information gathered during the external voting programme for purposes other than the facilitation of voting. Some host countries, such as Canada and some European countries, only allow external voting in embassies or consulates or by mail. When external votes take place in a country`s consulates or embassies, agreements with host countries are often not necessary. Even if external votes have to take place by registration and postal voting, the need for agreements with host countries is less urgent. However, agreements may still be essential to ensure support for the host country. Thus, the Host Country Agreement allows parties to the dispute located in or near the host country to take full advantage of the flexibility and efficiency of the procedures administered by the PCA in the territory of the host country. If external voters are refugees, the agreements can also ensure that voter turnout does not become a means of forced or premature repatriation of these populations before the conditions to support their return are in place. Agreements may stipulate that the external coordination programme shall not prevent or delay the voluntary repatriation of refugees living in the host country.
A number of memoranda of understanding between IOM and countries hosting Iraqi refugees included language to this effect to ensure that the principle of non-refoulement – the principle enshrined in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees – that no State may designate or return a refugee to an area where his or her life or freedom would be threatened because of his or her race. Religion, nationality or political opinion – was respected. In contrast, in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the external vote was largely by mail, the Dayton Agreement provided for the repatriation of refugees during the legislature, stating that “the exercise of a refugee`s right to vote must be interpreted as confirmation of his or her intention to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina. By election day, the return of refugees should already be underway so that many can participate in person. If an electoral process determines the end of a peace agreement (and the end of the corresponding humanitarian and refugee assistance programmes), there is a risk that the obligation of refugees to return to their countries of origin to vote will violate the principle of non-refoulement. First and foremost, all parties must guarantee the secrecy, neutrality and transparency of the external electoral programme, without local political or state interference or interference. Host country agreements must also protect the integrity of the constitution and electoral laws of the country where the election is being held. External coordination programmes should be designed to reflect as closely as possible the administrative activities of the country of origin. When negotiating hosting agreements to facilitate external voting programs, a number of important criteria must be recognized and protected. Examples of agreements in host countries are the agreements signed in the context of Afghanistan`s 2004 presidential elections – the largest external electoral programme to date in terms of the number of registered voters and external voter turnout.
The Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have signed two Memoranda of Understanding with the Governments of Iran and Pakistan respectively. These memoranda of understanding provided that the two host governments would provide broad support to the external election platform, including security for registration and electoral centres, escorts for the transportation of voting materials, and support for civic education and public information campaigns. .