Preliminary Election Results Demonstrate Importance of Complaints Process

Kabul, Afghanistan, October 21, 2010–The preliminary results of the 2010 parliamentary elections attest to an alarming level of fraud nationwide and the need for a thorough examination of complaints, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) said Thursday.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) released the preliminary poll results for the entire country on October 20. More than a million ballots were excluded during tallying and recounting.
FEFA commended the IEC for working to identify a large number of fraudulent votes. At the same time, FEFA expressed concern regarding the dramatic increase in estimated voter turnout between the days just after voting and the release of the preliminary results.

The election administration body initially estimated that approximately 4 million voters turned out on Election Day. That estimate jumped to more than 5 million when the preliminary results were announced. “The IEC needs to provide a clear explanation for this change,” said FEFA executive director Jandad Spinghar.

FEFA observers in some provinces reported that IEC staff did not show official recount orders to candidates’ agents before initiating recounting and in other areas blocked them from observing recounts, prompting FEFA to express concern over the transparency of recounting.

Final election results are expected to be released on October 30, after the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) has decided on more than 4,500 complaints submitted to it by individuals and organizations. Two-hundred and twenty-four candidates, some of them powerful political figures, are currently under investigation for electoral fraud. On October 24, the ECC will send its decisions to the IEC.
“The ECC’s role is most important now, between the preliminary results and final results,” said Spinghar. “Election Day wrongdoing and inequalities can be balanced to some extent through the complaints process.”

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Fourth Observation Report of the 2010 Observation Mission: Campaign Season September 16, 2010

The parliamentary campaigns of 2010 were both more vibrant and more threatened than those conducted in 2005. Nearly 2,500 individuals put themselves forward as contenders. Women and youth candidates ran in greater numbers than in 2005, and many campaigns reflected increased understanding of the value of reaching out to voters, campaigning on issues, and appealing to interest groups. The media was more adversarial this time around, and covered the campaigns and concurrent electoral processes with increased professionalism.

These developments reflect real and positive changes since the last parliamentary elections, and the negative aspects of this year’s campaign period should not diminish their significance.
Regrettably, election-related violence and intimidation cast shadows over campaign season.

Insurgents directly targeted civilians involved in the electoral process and stepped up attacks in formerly secure provinces. Candidates and campaign staff were threatened, harassed, kidnapped, assaulted and killed. Insurgent groups distributed thousands of night letters in villages and cities across the country, and the Taliban issued public statements endorsing violence against civilians affiliated with the electoral process and expressing the group’s intention to carry out attacks on Election Day...

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Election Day 2010: First Preliminary Observation Report September 20, 2010

The experience of the 2009 elections as undermined by pervasive fraud and high-level malfeasance determined the general expectations of the 2010 parliamentary elections.
Definitively proclaiming how this year’s elections went in comparison to last year’s presidential and provincial council elections will require time, careful analysis of data collected by observers, and consideration of both international standards and the many challenges of holding elections in Afghanistan. Moreover, this year’s elections are not yet over. The electoral process is just that, a process, and it does not conclude with Election Day. The post-Election Day complaints phase has only just begun and the final results are not expected for another six weeks.

On Election Day 2010, FEFA observed voting and counting with nearly 7,000 observers at approximately 60 percent of polling stations nationwide in 3,538 polling centers. These observers reported to FEFA throughout the day by phone and SMS. At this point, FEFA is ready to make preliminary statements about how the September 18 vote
went. At the same time, FEFA urges all stakeholders and the media to withhold “better” or “worse” judgments until the entire electoral process is complete, and to look at different aspects of the elections individually in addition to making assessments of the process as a whole.

Election Day 2010: First Preliminary Observation Report September 20, 2010

The experience of the 2009 elections as undermined by pervasive fraud and high-level malfeasance determined the general expectations of the 2010 parliamentary elections.
Definitively proclaiming how this year’s elections went in comparison to last year’s presidential and provincial council elections will require time, careful analysis of data collected by observers, and consideration of both international standards and the many challenges of holding elections in Afghanistan. Moreover, this year’s elections are not yet over. The electoral process is just that, a process, and it does not conclude with Election Day. The post-Election Day complaints phase has only just begun and the final results are not expected for another six weeks.

On Election Day 2010, FEFA observed voting and counting with nearly 7,000 observers at approximately 60 percent of polling stations nationwide in 3,538 polling centers. These observers reported to FEFA throughout the day by phone and SMS. At this point, FEFA is ready to make preliminary statements about how the September 18 vote
went. At the same time, FEFA urges all stakeholders and the media to withhold “better” or “worse” judgments until the entire electoral process is complete, and to look at different aspects of the elections individually in addition to making assessments of the process as a whole.

Afghanistan: Voting Goes Ahead Amid Insecurity, Ink Problems at Polls Widespread

Afghanistan: Voting Goes Ahead Amid Insecurity, Ink Problems at Polls Widespread
Saturday, 18 September 2010 13:43 - Last Updated Saturday, 18 September 2010 15:51

Kabul, September 18, 2010 - Polls opened for voting in Afghanistan’s 2010 parliamentary elections at 7am this morning. Nearly 7,000 FEFA observers were on hand to monitor the polls in all 34 provinces and at 60 percent of polling stations nationwide. Long-term observers submitted reports on the opening of the polls by phone and SMS throughout the morning. It is now possible for FEFA to make some general statements about the early hours of the process
based on reports submitted between 7am and 11am.

More than 1,500 of observed polling centers opened late.

The security forces performed their protection duties well overall. Though there were numerous attacks, none were severe enough to disrupt voting on a wide scale. Ink quality was a widespread problem, with voters able to easily wash the ink off their fingers in at least 2,950 polling centers in half a dozen provinces.

Lack of female IEC staff was another extensively reported challenge. FEFA observers reported 1,062 polling center without any female poll workers. In Paktia province, for example, there were no female election workers at any of the 201 polling stations designated for women. Intimidation was carried out by insurgents, powerbrokers and candidates at the outset of voting. FEFA observers reported 224 serious acts of intimidation during the first four hours of Election Day.

Despite the ban on campaigning after the official close of the campaign period on September 16, observes reported 643 cases of candidates campaigning on Election Day in voting places, with the greatest number of offenses reported in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Herat, Khost and Paktia. FEFA will release a second Election Day statement approximately 2 hours after the close of polls.

FEFA

Kartee- 4 Hajari Najari Street, Behind Russian Cultural Institute, House#013

Tel:+93-799 -310664

Web site: www.fefa.org.af

    

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