National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel)

BANTAY NG BAYAN

FEFA election day statements

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Source: FEFA

Kabul, September 18, 2010 – 9:30pm – As polls closed Saturday evening in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections and ballot-counting began, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan reported extensive irregularities and called on the Independent Election Commission to ensure the integrity of the rest of the electoral process.

Insecurity and violence shaped the voting process in large swaths of the country. FEFA observers reported serious security incidents around at least 389 polling centers. Polling centers were blown up in Kunar, Khost and Kandahar and captured in Laghman, Kunduz and Badghis, shutting down voting in the communities those centers served.

Violence by candidates, their agents and local powerbrokers was reported in several areas and so were a worrying number of instances of government official interfering in the voting process to sway the results in favor of their chosen candidates.

Ballot stuffing was seen to varying extents in most provinces, as were proxy voting and underage voting.

The widespread ink failures at the polls caused panic among candidates who feared the ink’s removability would enable fraud by rivals distributing multiple voter cards to their supporters.

The closing of polls later in the day presented additional causes for concern.

Many polling centers were officially closed before the given time, some as early as 11 a.m., according to observers. In many cases, voters were still queuing at polling stations when centers ran out of ballots, and no additional ballots were then provided.

Interference by candidates, candidate agents and other unauthorized person during the closing procedures was also widely reported.

Moreover, the closing procedure and decision whether to proceed with counting of ballots was decided on center by center basis, with no single schedule or procedure adhered to throughout the country. While counting was underway shortly after the closing of polls in some areas, in others it was postponed until the next day.

Taking these problems into account, FEFA has serious concerns about the quality of the elections. In the days ahead, FEFA will collect further data from its observers about the different types of irregularities reported and will produce more detailed reports.

As Afghanistan passes another Election Day, the people of Afghanistan have done their part. Now it is time for the IEC and ECC to ensure the integrity of all election materials, carry out tallying transparently and launch prompt and through investigations into reported cases of fraud, FEFA said.

FEFA will hold a press conference on Monday to release its first preliminary report.

Kabul, September 18, 2010 – Polls opened for voting in Afghanistan’s 2010 parliamentary elections at 7am this morning. Nearly 7,000 FEFA observers were on hand to monitor the polls in all 34 provinces and at 60 percent of polling stations nationwide. Long-term observers submitted reports on the opening of the polls by phone and SMS throughout the morning. It is now possible for FEFA to make some general statements about the early hours of the process based on reports submitted between 7am and 11am.

More than 1,500 of observed polling centers opened late.

The security forces performed their protection duties well overall. Though there were numerous attacks, none were severe enough to disrupt voting on a wide scale.

Ink quality was a widespread problem, with voters able to easily wash the ink off their fingers in at least 2,950 polling centers in half a dozen provinces.

Lack of female IEC staff was another extensively reported challenge. FEFA observers reported 1,062 polling center without any female poll workers. In Paktia province, for example, there were no female election workers at any of the 201 polling stations designated for women.

Intimidation was carried out by insurgents, powerbrokers and candidates at the outset of voting. FEFA observers reported 224 serious acts of intimidation during the first four hours of Election Day.

Despite the ban on campaigning after the official close of the campaign period on September 16, observes reported 643 cases of candidates campaigning on Election Day in voting places, with the greatest number of offenses reported in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Herat, Khost and Paktia.

Written by namfrel

September 19, 2010 at 8:15 am

One Response

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  1. My panic attacks nearly ruined my life—people need to get help for them, or they stand a chance of losing both the people they love, as well as everything else that is near and dear to them.

    Tara

    September 20, 2010 at 6:38 am


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