UN clarifies proposal on audit process
KABUL - At the request of Presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the United Nations yesterday met with him and the technical experts of the Reform and Partnership Team.
They discussed the UN proposal for recounts and invalidations as part of the ongoing comprehensive audit of the Presidential elections run-off.
The parties confirmed the following:
1.) The agreement on items 12 and 16 of the audit checklist included in the 12 July Technical Framework Agreement is reconfirmed and will be fully implemented during the audit process.
2.) The process of adjudication on the findings of the audit will not begin before the end of the week, after technical preparations and data entry of information collected from the audit is undertaken. Campaign agents and observers will be provided access to these preparatory steps. Further clarifications of invalidation criteria will be made during the course of preparatory process, as needed, before the invalidation process commences. The relevant proposals, including of the Reform and Partnership Team, will be taken into consideration. In case new issues that require attention will arise during the course of conducting the audit, the UN will consider whether the relevant procedures and criteria require refinement and updating. The senior UN international elections expert, Jeff Fischer, who directly advises the Board of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on international best practices as it makes decisions to validate, invalidate or recount ballots cast in the presidential election run-off has the discretion to apply special scrutiny to any boxes he deems warranted.
3.) The UN proposal will not allow ballots from ‘ghost’ polling centres and stations to enter the electoral system.
4.) In cases that ballot boxes are lost, missing, damaged or destroyed an investigation of all relevant information will be conducted including on the basis but not limited to IEC documents. If these investigations reveal no valid proof that a missing ballot box served as an active polling station it will be excluded.
5.) International experts will be fully involved in the entire audit process and in addition to offering advice will take part in the adjudication process.
The Reform and Partnership Team has informed the United Nations that it will attend the Audit Technical Committee meeting tonight and will resume its participation in the audit process tomorrow.