Election Day Press Statement 20 August 2009

The following statement is based on two rounds of scheduled reporting by FEFA’s observers. It is also informed by multiple special incident and general outlook telephone briefs during voting hours. This statement is based on eyewitness reports by FEFA observers between 7:00 am and 6:00 deployed in all 34 provinces. In any aspiring democracy, holding the second ever election presents a major challenge. By holding today’s elections, Afghans have proved their commitment to developing a lasting democratic system. Amidst many challenges, this phase of the electoral process was an important step in Afghanistan’s progress towards building a civil and democratic government. The candidates and campaigns, the Independent Elections Commission (IEC), state security institutions, media, and many civil societies Organizations played key roles in shaping the environment in which many people could exercise their political rights. Election Administration and Procedural Observations FEFA observed that throughout the country, many polling centers did not open on time, mainly due to factors such as last minute relocations of polling centers, last minute administrative and technical issues, and security concerns. FEFA observers reported cases of temporary and sometimes early closing of polling centers due to security incidents or disregard for established procedures by IEC field staff. Early in the day, FEFA received and shared with the IEC reports from fifteen provinces about malfunctioning punches—to mark used voter registration cards—in polling stations. IEC reacted during the morning hours with instructions to polling staff to use scissors to cut the edge of voter’s registration card. Questions about the durability of the indelible ink used to mark voters’ fingers caused concerns early in the day. Unlike the 2004 Presidential Elections, this time around there are reports that the ink reemerges after attempts to wash it off. Reports about improper interference by local IEC staff with the voting process were received throughout the day from many parts of the country. Questions about the impartiality of some IEC Local staff constitute a trend that has persisted throughout the electoral process. Several anticipated patterns of fraud appear to have manifested in varying degrees. FEFA is assessing reports about these incidents.

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Press Release


Election 2009


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