AIHRC-UNAMA release third elections report
22 October 2009 - The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today issued their third joint-political rights monitoring report related to the 20 August elections.
This report, which covers the period from 1 August to 21 October 2009, is part of a series that described the nomination and challenge period (25 April – 12 June) and the campaign period (16 June – 1 August).
The third report focuses on four key issues: insecurity and violence in the run up to elections and polling day; participation of the Afghan people, particularly women, in the elections; electoral irregularities and fraud; and freedom of expression.
These elections were the first to be fully led and organized by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
Afghan National Security Forces took the lead in providing security for the elections, the steady increase of security-related incidents by Anti-Government Elements was a dominant factor in the preparation and holding of the elections.
The report also observed that insecurity – which included a high number of attacks and other forms of intimidation on Polling Day – had a bearing on the decision of Afghans to vote.
However, according to the IEC, 38.7 per cent of registered voters, a figure which is significantly lower than the previous elections, are estimated to have cast their ballots on 20 August.
Afghan women are demonstrating an increased interest in political matters, although they voted in much fewer numbers than men largely due to insecurity and social-cultural constraints.
A large number of allegations regarding electoral fraud and irregularities were made, especially with respect to ballot box stuffing.
Official complaints were received and processed by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), which also carried out an audit.
This led to the ECC conclusion that a large number of ballots needed to be invalidated, thereby necessitating a run-off.
On Tuesday, the IEC announced the certified results for the Presidential elections after having invalidated a number of ballots on the order of the ECC.
The IEC has announced that a run-off will take place between President Karzai and Dr Abdullah Abdullah on 7 November.