Preliminary election result will come out on Nov 14
Election Commission (IEC) has yet to work hard to announce the result of long-awaited
Afghan presidential election which was held on 28 September. Though the preliminary
election result was scheduled to come out on October 19, the IEC failed to meet
Election watchdogs say the IEC
may take more time to announce the election result. Last year, after almost
eight months of delay, the IEC finally managed to announce the final result of
the 2018 parliamentary election.
According to the IEC, all of
biometrically verified votes which count for a total of 1,932, 673 votes have
been transmitted to the central server. Speaking at a press conference
yesterday, October 26, an IEC commissioner, Awrangzib, said the ongoing
counting process of biometrically verified votes will be completed by October
30, with technical assistance by Dermalog Company.
All indications, given the state
of affairs in the IEC, show that the country’s election commission may take
months to announce the preliminary election result.
On the other hand, Mawlana Abdullah, an IEC commissioner, wrote on his Facebook account last night, October 26, that according to election law 770,000 to 900,000 votes would be declared invalidated.
Soghra Saadat, spokesperson for
the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), says internal
differences in the IEC, pressures by presidential tickets, recommendations made
by foreign ambassadors, poor management, technical inability, and lack of
independence have delayed announcement of election result.
“The election commission does
not have strong and defined mechanism to distinguish clean votes from unclean
votes. Now [they] look like to be in a state of bafflement,” She asserted while
stressing on announcing the result as soon as possible.
Chief Executive Abdullah, who
is said to be the main rival of the incumbent president Ghani in 2019
presidential election, said last night, October 26, the election result will be
critical for Afghanistan. He reiterated that he will not make the same
compromise as he did in 2014—pointing out to disputed 2014 presidential
election which was brokered by the US Foreign Secretary John Kerry.
Expressing dissatisfaction over
performance of the IEC, Yousuf Rasheed, who is executive director of the Free
and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), criticized the IEC for not
having a clear plan.
Naser Naserizad, who is TEFA’s
observer at the IEC, says the commissions have apparently faced problems in
counting biometrically votes. He added that counting votes based on photo of
the national identity card, photo, and finger print would take two weeks.
According to Ms. Saadat,
rejection of the election result by presidential tickets would push the country
into political crisis. “Political pressure, technical problems, and lack of
capacity have halted announcement of election result,” she added.
Rasheed argues delay will
undermine election process and pose new challenges to the commission.
Under pressure and load of
work, the Independent Election Commission has announced today, Oct 27, that it
will announce the preliminary election result on November 14.