The current state of the election process requires efficient and transparent management of the IEC and full cooperation from all stakeholders
The Free and Fair Elections Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), is quite concerned about the current state of the elections. FEFA believes that, IEC failed in timely announcement of preliminary results, complying with the election calendar and to manage the post-election stages in timely manner, executing the audit and recount process in all provinces, providing accurate and timely information and figures on each phases of elections, including accurate figures of voters turn-out, valid and invalid votes and failed in figuring and executing sufficient approaches to effectively deal with complains and objections raised by candidates, and in doing well interpretation of its decision and action to public. FEFA expresses its deep concerns about the continued uncertainty and repeated delays in announcement of the election results, which is absolutely not in favor of the election credibility. In addition, the work of IEC in launching the recount and auditing process, in a transparent manner, in presence of CSOs, before dealing with concerns and complaints raised by some candidates, was unprofessional and concerning. FEFA considers the above indicators to be a major factor in disputing the current election situation stemming from the inconsistent handling of election events by the IEC. Although FEFA realizes the candidates’ right to object and complain on shortcomings, according to the election law and code of conducts, but the candidates’ decision to boycott the recount and auditing process is not for the good of election’s transparency and legitimacy and it has to be reconsidered. The closure of IEC’s provincial offices by protesters is not the solution to the problems. Unlike, it can further complicate the situation and facilitates repetition of the 2018 parliamentary election experience once again. Therefore, FEFA calls on the protesters to allow the IEC to keep on with the processes. At the same time, FEFA calls on all candidates to allow their observers to restart their observation from the remaining processes.
To settle the current challenges, FEFA requests from IEC to arrange a technical dialogue, with CSOs, the United Nations, European Union and other international election-related bodies and candidates, to review the candidates legit demands in accordance to the laws and cod of conducts. IEC is also required to share accurate and complete information on the processes to the CSOs, Political Parties /Electoral Tickets, and to the Public. FEFA, while appreciating the security forces for their great services in protecting the election processes, calling on security officials and authorities to avoid involvement in any violent engagement with protestors and people. FEFA strongly opposes the use of non-civilized terms and force-based measures by all parties involved in the election and recommends prevention of progress towards intimidation and chaos. It’s the legal responsibility of both commissions to make the necessary and transparent decisions regarding election management. Hence, the commissions are required to remain accountable and to try for the public contentment. FEFA urge ECC not to act passively, but to take the necessary stands based on its legal competence, when necessary. Silence and remaining neutral can be seen an escape from responsibilities, while ECC’s role is key in tackling and resolving electoral problems, and it shouldn’t be neglected. Meanwhile, FEFA urges the international community to keep up with its cooperation and support to the process and to the Afghan people and paly a significant role in transparently conclusion of the election.
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