UN further strengthens expertise in election audit

27 Aug 2014

UN further strengthens expertise in election audit

KABUL - The United Nations today reinforced the expertise in the Presidential elections audit process with a senior elections advisor, Mr. Richard Chambers of the United Kingdom, taking up responsibilities to support the important adjudication period.

Mr. Chambers will work together with the UN’s lead elections advisor in Kabul, Mr. Jeff Fischer.

Mr. Chambers has particular expertise in electoral dispute resolution and results management drawn from experience in working on elections with the UN, the European Union (EU), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in more than 20 countries. One of 123 UN advisors deployed specifically to support the audit process, he is the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Chief Technical Adviser in Lebanon.

Mr. Chambers was today formally introduced to the Commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) by the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mr. Nicholas Haysom.

The UN-supervised audit run by the IEC is unprecedented in scale and scope with more than 22,000 ballot boxes being individually opened and examined by electoral authorities and representatives of the Presidential candidates. In addition to the UN advisors, 216 international observers are present from the EU, the Asian Network for Free Elections, and organizations based in the United States, such as the National Democratic Institute, Democracy International, and Creative Associates.  On top of that, more than 100 personnel seconded from 17 diplomatic missions have also be engaged in the observation effort. Rarely have so many recognized experts and highly experienced electoral professionals been brought together at one time to support an elections process. There is also a sizeable number of experienced national observers from different respected Afghan organizations.

To date, more than two-thirds of ballot boxes have been audited, with the first decisions from the adjudication process released earlier this week by the IEC.