“Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) considers the candidates’ political agreement on the formation of National Unity Government a step forward and welcomes the announcement of final results of presidential election run-off by the Independent Election Commission that puts an ending to the prolonged process. However FEFA believes latest political outbreaks that denied people the right they must possess in the process could be considered a roll back in democracy and in election process in the country.”
Despite security threats and climatic problems the people of Afghanistan went to the polls twice on April 5th and June 14th, 2014 to experience a peaceful transition of power with their votes for the first time in the history of the country. FEFA observed all stages of the 2014 election process across the country and despite having noticed considerable improvements in the electoral system and structure, it has also observed breach of the laws and rules, violations of procedures
negligence of electoral officials that could lead to destruction of the process and could be considered a big blow to democracy in the country. FEFA urges the candidates to play their significant roles in strengthening and enhancing the credibility of the process by accepting the final results. FEFA considers the political agreement between the two candidates step forward but believes that handling technical issues through political negotiations will not only marginalize people from exercising their political rights but will also harm young democracy in the country.
FEFA urges the electoral commissions to explain runoff results to public and publish the details of votes audit. Latest performance of the commissions have been very disappointing and far from public expectation. FEFA as an observation organization believes that unpleasant lessons were learned from this electoral cycle that should be accurately observed for better election process in future:
• Conduct comprehensive research on the role of election officials in electoral irregularities and crisis by a neutral committee. Prosecute those who were involved in wide scale fraud and those who directly or indirectly caused irregularities in the process.
• Electoral commissions are in serious need of fundamental reforms. FEFA urges the upcoming government to bring necessary changes to the structure of electoral commissions in close consultation with observation institutions based on the lessons learned from this electoral cycle;
• FEFA recommends the upcoming government to amend electoral laws, distribute electronic identification cards, begin utilizing electoral voting machines, determine the borders of districts, prepare the list of voters and change the (SNTV) system in order to diminish electoral problems.
FEFA believes election problems in 2014 presidential and provincial councils election put the country in a critical security and economic situation, but FEFA thanks the people of Afghanistan for their incredible tolerance and for taking part in the process. At the same time FEFA urges the candidates and politicians of Afghanistan to make efforts to respect democratic and electoral values and further strengthen these principles to restore public confidence in the process.