FEFA’s Press Release on Second Round of 2014 Election
Today, June 14th marks a historic momentum for the Afghan people who voted to institutionalize democracy through their extensive participation in elections. The voting process started at 7 A.M and continued until 4 P.M. After observing the first round of 2014 Presidential Election, Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) observed the second round run off with over 9,000 short-term and long term observers across the country. FEFA congratulates the Afghan people for having successfully exercised another phase of democracy and the Independent Election Commission for its attempts to organize and manage this national process in its best way possible. FEFA acknowledge the efforts made by their volunteer observers who stood alongside the voters at the polling stations for a second round in elections 2014. FEFA appreciate the measures undertaken by the security institutions to provide adequate security for the voters, monitors, observers and media representatives at the polling stations and express their condolences to the victims who lost their lives in this day. Despite security threats public participation in the process ostensibly indicate their commitment to this democratic process and their trust on the peaceful transition of political power. Moreover, the role of visual, audio, and printed media in covering the election process to inform and encourage people to participate in the voting process has been remarkably effective. FEFA’s observers have reported different cases of irregularities and breach of electoral laws and procedures by different electoral personages from across the country. The quality and quantity of these reports indicate repetition of the bitter experiences of the first round. Fraud, shortage of ballot papers, late opening of polling stations, entrance denial to the observers and the low quality ink in most polling stations shape the preliminary findings of FEFA. FEFA’s observers have reported two kinds of security threats: threats that happened by armed antigovernment insurgents and the threats that took place by local powerbrokers on voters, monitors and observers
At different polling centers in different provinces. FEFA believe that the next crucial stage of the process depends on the effective, impartial and transparent performance of the two electoral bodies; the Independent Elections Commission and the Independent Complaints Commission. Transfer of TEBs, insertion of results into the database at the tally center and handling and adjudication process of the complaints which directly impact the results are important issues that need to be noted by the commissions. FEFA therefore urge the candidates to share their comments and concerns with the IECC based on the electoral rules and procedures and observe the adjudication process besides recording their complaints to take part in strengthening the role of the electoral bodies in the process. FEFA believe that the observers of candidates were more qualified in understanding he process and the electoral laws and their information on observation and record of complaints have increased extensively in comparison to the first round. Another positive step was the broad presence of international observers at the second round runoff. FEFA will soon share their stance on the second round runoff after analyzing and verifying all the observation findings and observing and evaluating the performance of electoral commissions.
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