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IEC Fails to Manage the Ballot Counting Process: TEFA

KABUL – Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan’s (TEFA’s) findings have revealed that IEC, despite all preparations held for the 2019 election day (E-Day), failed to articulate its work for the ballot counting and on-time announcement of the election results, thus proved thoroughly disabled to properly manage post E-Day phases, resulting in breach of electoral law, procedures and calendar.
According to TEFA, Election as a national process requires synergized contributions by all stake stakeholders, but misfortunately, prior to the 2019 E-Day, IEC, with so called confidence, ensured all stakeholders of sufficient preparations for the 2019 elections, and thereby underestimating suggestions and recommendations and contradictions of observer groups, presidential candidates, political parties, and media, and IEC is now struck by a plethora of challenges. It still tries to avoid concrete suggestions proposed by the stakeholders, which has formed a climate of mistrust that tries to push the stakeholders out of the electoral process.
The TEFA finding highlights that Lack of transparency regarding preliminary and final results of elections according to the election calendar, breach of law, cessation in IEC’s work in a certain number of provinces, electoral data being withheld, no proper consideration given to complaints adjudication on ballot audit and recount, and overloaded obscurities in the current electoral conditions is purely concerning and has held IEC’s work clearly questionable for the general public, domestic and international organizations.
Moreover, TEFA’s findings show that during this period, IEC has taken decisions and carried out such activities which have been against the electoral law and procedures, and there even have been cases where legal advices have been entirely neglected by the election commission.
TEFA’s findings also depict that IEC has no reliable mechanism for validating votes in the ballot recount and audit process, which is why a significant number of presidential tickets boycotted the recount and audit process, leaving IEC puzzled with no clue on how to legally content them.
“Lack of mutual understanding and consensus among IEC commissioners and secretariat, lack of commissioners’ punctuality, absenteeism, lack of technical capacity among IEC members to monitor IEC’s secretariat, and time wasted by IEC secretary in disseminating electoral reports, are amongst the reasons why IEC has functioned so very poorly till date,” TEFA’s findings added.
While all partner states and organizations are here to support transparent elections, TEFA, recommends addressing the existing problems and taking the 2019 election to an acceptable conclusion.
TEFA calls upon election stakeholders to work together on providing room for a legal, and transparent ballot recount and audit process, and refrain from all sorts of interventions in IEC’s operations, so that results are announced properly.
TEFA concluded that IEC’s decision-making processes need to be made public so that trust in IEC is restored.
(Sahar News)

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