FEFA Press Release on primary result of 2014 Presidential Election
Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) welcomes release of preliminary results from 2014 presidential polls but at the same time expresses its concerns over the latest ungrounded and unprofessional statements made by officials of the electoral commissions: FEFA welcomes April 26th’s release of preliminary results from the country’s Presidential elections by the Independent Election Commission and considers it as yet another major milestone in electoral process. However, FEFA believes based on the Election Law, these results are not at the final and the most critical stage, the adjudication of complaints and appeals and the release of the final results are yet to take place. Therefore, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission carries a massive responsibility of handling and adjudicating complaints which will ultimately led to the increased public confidence and entrustment of the candidates in the results if implemented in a timely, transparent and professional way. FEFA as a national observation, nonpartisan organization has observed all the stages of the elections and has regularly shared its findings with the electoral commissions as a partner and stakeholder of the process in accordance with its mandate and accepted observer’s standard role, not as a complainant. Internationally accepted observation standards commonly used makes observation organizations the citizen’s representative to watch the electoral process, to increase the level of transparency and to provide the electoral institutions and the public with their independent assessment of the process. And when needed, the observation findings are also used by electoral institutions to help provide extensive information required for the adjudication process of complaints and the audit of the public vote.
Therefore, FEFA is concerned over the recent comments made by officials of the commissions about the role of observer organizations. It is only fair to have the commissions make the best use of the findings of the observer organizations in an impartial and professional manner instead of blaming for “not investigated properly” cases by these organizations. Internationally accepted standards suggest that information provided by the observers are to be used as information sources to inform initial decisions on further work for proper investigation and audit of the questionable votes. FEFA also encourages the candidates to maintain their composure and follow along the process responsibly. They are urged to increase their monitoring of the conduct of the electoral institutions and cooperate with the electoral bodies as we are moving to this next very critical phase of the elections.
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