ECC makes decisions on fraudulent ballots and complaints

20 Oct 2009

ECC makes decisions on fraudulent ballots and complaints

KABUL - The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) today gave its orders to Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) on three different decisions, namely: quarantined stations, 'Category-A' complaints, and the audit of suspicious ballot boxes.

Last month, the ECC decided to take a closer look at roughly 10 per cent sample of the 3,377 fraud-prone ballot boxes from 20 August presidential elections.

This began a process whereby 343 ballot boxes were randomly picked and flown into Kabul from across the country.

The suspicious boxes were then closely examined by a team of IEC, ECC, and UNDP/ELECT officials, in the presence of candidate agents and independent observers.

The findings were subsequently sent to the ECC last week for analysis in order to determine the extent of fraud committed in the election.

The ECC also published its decision on the 604 Category-A complaints, which the body said, if proven correct, has the potential to impact the election result.

Based on its investigations, the body has ordered the IEC to invalidate 210 polling stations around the country where the ECC found clear and convincing evidence of fraud.

The ECC also gave a decision on the 646 polling stations that the IEC had quarantined after the election, because they contained more than 1000 votes, or were cast in a polling station that was closed, or stations where the number of votes recorded in polling centre overall were greater than the number ballots issued by the IEC.

The Commission removed 628 stations from the final tally.

The ECC's order has now gone to the IEC, who will make the necessary calculations by discarding the ballots declared as fraudulent from the preliminary results.

The IEC are expected to announce the final certified results within the next few days.

Reacting to the ECC order, UNAMA Spokesperson Aleem Siddique said: "Now that the ECC has published its orders we expect the IEC to implement them without haste and move swiftly to announce either a final certified result or the requirement for a second round as required by Afghanistan's electoral law."

Provisional results released by the IEC in September gave incumbent President Hamid Karzai 54.6 per cent (3,093,256) votes, while his nearest challenger, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, secured 27.8 per cent (1,571,581) votes.

By Aditya Mehta, UNAMA

Website: Electoral Complaints Commission