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EU at women polling station

Kabul, 16 December 2014 -  “The growth of democracy and the credibility of the electoral institutions in Afghanistan have suffered a severe blow by the extent of the fraud during the Presidential elections”, says EU Chief Observer Thijs Berman. “Both President Dr. Ghani and CEO Dr. Abdullah realize this. By accepting a negotiated solution, they showed remarkable restraint but it is an essential step that rapid electoral reform is part of their political agreement.” The Final Report of the European Union Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) in Afghanistan on the Presidential elections was presented in Kabul today. The Final Report includes all main findings of the EU EAT on the election process, together with recommendations for future elections.

“The members of the Electoral Reform Committee need to be appointed without delay. However, any electoral reform aiming at eliminating fraud, in full respect of the voters, will fail its objective if those who committed fraud continue to enjoy impunity", according to Berman at his press conference. 

“The 2014 Presidential elections paved the way to the country’s first-ever peaceful transfer of power”, saluted Berman, “Afghan voters demonstrated a determined commitment to democracy, undeterred by violence and insecurity."

The first round saw an undisputable outcome, with two clear front-runners while no candidate obtained more than 50% of the vote. The Presidential run-off on 14 June was characterized by large scale fraud. In a context of intense controversy leading to political deadlock, a full-scale audit of all the 8.1 million run-off votes was agreed upon. The EU EAT observed this audit with up to 410 EU observers.

Given the dispute that characterized the second round of the elections, the political agreement reached between the two candidates on the formation of a national unity government offered a political conclusion to the electoral process. Following the political agreement, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has not published detailed conclusions of the audit, nor did it present the final results of the Presidential elections.            

The absence of detailed results, deprived Afghan citizens of a full and transparent outcome”, noted Berman.

                                                  Ahmadzai2                            abdullah

The Final Report of the EUEAT suggests several key improvements of the electoral framework:

- The nomination of all IEC and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) commissioners by an independent board, and the introduction of safeguards to ensure the full neutrality of electoral officials.

-The introduction of an investigation mechanism of electoral offences and corruption that could include the systematic transfer of information to the Attorney General's office or the designated jurisdiction in charge, with the investigation and adjudication integrated into the                legal framework.

- By means of the biometric ID card (E-Tazkira) data base, a new and reliable civil register could be established, from which a voter register could be extracted. Voters should be attached to polling stations or at least to districts.

- In order to further protect the vote of women, measures could be introduced to fully ensure their access to secured and appropriate polling locations, led by female staff.

- Regarding domestic observers, their coordination mechanisms could be enhanced in order to increase their national coverage and communications all along the observation of the election cycle. The election institutions and security forces could provide all the necessary support to facilitate their deployment and access to all the stages of the election process.

 

pdfEUEAT Afghanistan press-release 16-12-201

pdfFINAL REPORT EUEAT AFGHANISTAN-2014

pdfANNEXES FINAL REPORT EUEAT AFGHANISTAN 2014