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Feature: The Role of National, International Observers in the Transparency of Elections

Feature: The Role of National, International Observers in the Transparency of Elections

In a democratic system, referendums and elections are the only way to fulfill citizens’ collective demands. By election, people vote for what they want and show their desires. By holding elections, citizens are able to exercise their right to vote, to nominate themselves or to vote for their candidates, thereby building the popular system and fulfilling their wishes.
As mentioned above, a strong and popular government comes when elections are held and citizens vote freely and securely. Over the past two decades, several elections have been held in Afghanistan. Sometimes these elections are accepted and sometimes they have been full of fraud and manipulation. We saw the worst presidential election last time. There was widespread fraud in the vote. Great controversy arose, and the case was mediated by Secretary of State John Kerry. Finally, the National Unity Government (NUG) was formed, in which two leading candidates, Dr Abdullah and Dr Ashraf Ghani, were appointed as the Executive Director and President respectively. Five years have passed, but it hasn’t worked. Another notorious election in Afghanistan was the 2018 parliamentary elections. There were many frauds and manipulations of the citizens in this election. Forcing citizens on election day, buying votes, security problems, biometric system problems, the lack of a voter list, and the closure of polling stations made many citizens unable to use their ballots and caused many problems in the process. Manipulation of people’s votes after the elections is another case that we saw. Database evidence, documents and videos showed that the primary results of the IEC and subsequent results were very different.
The problem with the above is that there was no proper monitoring from the beginning to the end of the election process. Transparency in elections is one of the tenets of the democratic system. Transparency comes when national and international observers monitor the work of the IEC from the beginning to the end. Political parties, civil society organizations, the UN, embassies and election observation bodies should oversee all election processes.
Monitoring is not just about election day. Supervision must be made from the beginning of the commissioning and election of commissioners, monitoring of staff recruitment, monitoring of the distribution of critical election materials, monitoring of election day, monitoring of counting, monitoring at district centers, monitoring at the Provincial Election Commission, monitoring at the IEC. This all supervision should be centralized and should be carried out until the final announcement of the results of the vote.
Since elections are a very important and decisive issue for our society and we have witnessed infamous elections in the past, it is important for everyone to join hands with the authorities who take the recent presidential election and the process of its result seriously. To monitor it properly, observers should oversee all election processes and document them whenever they see fraud. Document these cases first at the complaint center and then forward to their respective authorities for referral to the Grievance Commission.
Another very important issue is the monitoring of the counting and monitoring of the transfer of funds to the district headquarters, monitoring in the province and finally monitoring of the central election commission in Kabul. Observers should record the votes of all candidates. They must photograph the ballot papers installed behind the polling station gate and send it to the respective authorities. They will also ensure that funds are not seized in the district center on the way to the Provincial Commission.
People went to the polls in this presidential election with thousands of security problems and other challenges and voted for their candidates. So, we need to protect the votes of the people and the citizens. If these elections are challenged, people’s confidence in democracy and the democratic system will be completely destroyed.
(Sahar News)

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