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Chief Observer Berman

Kabul, 21 September 2014 – The European Union Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) regrets firmly that no precise election results figures have been published by the Independent Election Commission (IEC), following the audit of the run-off votes. At the same time, EU EAT welcomes the political agreement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to form a national unity government. 

EU EAT Chief Observer Thijs Berman states: “A political agreement has been reached on a future government and on a division of roles between the two candidates, after an unsatisfactory audit process. I welcome and deeply value the political will to secure stability in the country. However, the high proportion of fraud brought to light shows an unacceptable lack of respect towards so many Afghans, women and men, who freely went to cast their vote, often at great personal risk. Moreover, Afghan voters are entitled to be guaranteed that, in future elections, full transparency will be applied on the exact way their votes have been administered”.

The EU EAT assessed the entire audit process with up to 410 observers. This exceptionally high number of electoral experts allowed the EU EAT to be present at the audit of nearly half of the total number of ballot boxes from all 34 provinces. The assessment by the EU EAT, which has been detailed and accurate due to the high number (47,4%) of ballot boxes observed by the Team, shows clear evidence of large-scale fraud, mainly ballot stuffing.

It has to be underlined that a relatively small numbers of polling station results were subject to full invalidations, while almost half of the polling station audits led to recounts and partial invalidations. All provinces have been affected by fraud, in varying degrees.

The EU EAT welcomes the announcement, in the overall political agreement, that the Afghan authorities will initiate the elaboration of profound electoral reforms in the perspective of the future elections of 2015.

"Effective anti-fraud measures, neglected for years, will have to be enforced, including the prosecution of those involved in electoral violations during the 2014 presidential elections. We are very much looking forward to contribute to this effort.  The Final Report of the EU Election Assessment Team, to be published soon, will contain concrete suggestions for reforms with the objective to strengthen the credibility of elections in the country and to restore the necessary confidence of the Afghan voters in their young democracy”, concludes Thijs Berman, EU EAT Chief Observer in his statement. 

 

Read the full press release  EU EAT Afghanistan press release 21-09-2014