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Kabul, 15 May 2014 - The EU Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) in Afghanistan calls for more transparency in the second round of the elections.  Fraud in the first round was sizeable without affecting the order of candidates none of whom reached 50% of the votes. The final results of the 5 April Presidential Election were announced today by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Although the overall organisation of these elections went well in many respects, EU EAT Chief Observer Thijs Berman underlines that “the lack of information provided to candidates and EU observers by the IEC during tallying, audits and recounts has significantly limited the level of transparency that should have been respected by the election administration”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          20121127 Afghanistan meeting 010         

Candidates and observers have not been granted the necessary information to be able to crosscheck results announced by the IEC against those of polling stations before the end of the complaints period. This significantly limited the candidates’ possibilities to file complaints. Online results per polling station, in a format that would facilitate further analysis, have been absent until shortly before the announcement of the final results. Also information on female polling stations as well as on invalid votes and spoilt ballots has still not been provided by the IEC. The EU EAT has repeatedly insisted on the need to respect this transparency, as have candidates and other stakeholders.

 

Furthermore, the EU EAT urges the IEC to clarify its criteria for the recounting and auditing of votes. Most importantly, it needs to ensure the consistent application of those criteria and to quarantine questionable results before publishing them.

female polling station

 

Fraud, which has still been important, did not modify the ranking of the leading candidates, nor did any candidate win more than 50%

 

In the analysis of the results by the experts of EU EAT, fraud has still been important in the first round of the Presidential Election 2014, but less massive than in previous elections. Attempts to influence the outcome by fraud did however not modify the ranking of the leading candidates. As announced by the IEC, and corroborated by the analysis of the EU EAT, no candidate obtained more than 50% of the votes in the first round.

 

Regarding the challenges encountered in the first round, the EU EAT strongly encourages the electoral administration to provide sufficient ballot papers for the second round, and to overcome the shortages suffered in some regions.

 

The EU Team will remain vigilant on the electoral campaign for the presidential run-off, including on its tone and its balance, and calls upon both contenders and all stakeholders to respect democratic standards.

 

“Afghan voters have shown a remarkable democratic will to choose their leadership in freedom. Despite the threat of violence, voters have cast their ballots, and this was also a courageous vote for a democratic, peaceful Afghanistan. This choice needs to be respected in the second round, not undermined by fraud or violence", Thijs Berman stresses.

 

“The EU EAT will remain in the country until the very end of the second round, and will continue assessing the compliance of these elections with the Afghan legislation and with international standards”, concludes Chief Observer Berman.

 

 

Read Press Release of EU EAT of 15 May 2014      eueat afghanistan press-release 15 05 2014

 

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