The Kabul Times.
Politics

IEC: Transparency more important than early announcement of results

By: Lailuma Noori

Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC) has delayed announcement of primary results of the September 28 presidential elections, but stressing on further transparency in the electoral process.
An official of the commission has said that announcement of primary results of the election has been delayed due to the fact that transparency was maintained in the election process.
“Independent Election Commission has not entered all data of voters to central server so far and it is still not clear when the process ends,” said Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, a spokesperson to IEC.
He added that maintaining of transparency and separation of biometrical votes from non-biometrical voters was more important than acceleration in the process for IEC.
Transparency in elections is a principle as maintaining of transparency in election process is considered as part of rights of the people. It means that it is the right of the people to both cast votes for their favorite candidates and get aware of transparency in the process. This is possible when their votes are dealt with honesty and all election-related processes are reviewed in a fair and transparent way.
According to Afghan political experts, the country’s Independent Election Commission should maintain justice and time by time share report of its works with the people. If there were problems and critics regarding the election process, IEC should address them in accordance to the election law. Electoral bodies should not violate the election law, instead they should review all election-related complaints and illegal works with full transparency and fair way.
In case that electoral-related complaints were not addressed impartially and a fair way, electoral bodies would lose the people’s trust and confidence. Fraud and violation can be one of possible challenges in holding any elections. But, pavements for any possible frauds and violations get limited when electoral bodies show serious determination and increase monitoring process on the election. Currently, IEC is stressing on only counting biometrical votes cast during the September 28 presidential elections.
This time, IEC used biometric devices during the September 28 elections. Previously, electoral bodies were using the oldest mechanisms for holding elections in the country as mostly elections in the past were marred with frauds and violations. Moreover, collecting and counting votes, specification of exact number of voters and announcement of primary and final results of elections were usually faced with lots of problems and challenges.
Now, using the biometric devices in elections can somehow guarantee transparency, save the country from any possible crisis and further give legitimacy to the new government of Afghanistan.
It is worth mentioning that preliminary results from September 28 presidential election had been expected to be reported on October 19 but have been delayed. The Independent Election Commission vowed to release the preliminary results as soon as possible but did not give a possible date. With 9.57 million Afghans registered to vote on September 28, estimates indicated that a little more than 2 million had gone to the polls.

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The Kabul Times.