The Kabul Times.
Politics

No foreign interference in working process of IEC

By: Suraya Raiszada

Officials for Independent Election Commission (IEC) say all efforts are underway to announce primary results of the 28 September Presidential elections on 19 October.
This comes after reports saying that the primary results of the election will be postponed due to foreign interferences, increasing pressures by candidates and separation of biometrical votes from non-biometrical votes.
Nevertheless, a spokesperson to the Independent Election Commission by rejecting the report told The Kabul Times correspondent that there were no foreign interferences in work process of the vote count as well as increasing pressures by candidates, saying that preliminary results of the election would be soon announced.
“For Independent Election Commission, only biometrical votes are counted and presidential candidates have also stressed on counting the biometrical votes cast on the Election Day,” said Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, the IEC spokesperson.
Ibrahimi further said that the electoral commissions was insisting on transparency in vote counts; therefore, any kind of interference in work process of the commissions was not acceptable.
According to IEC officials, data from approximately 23,000 biometric devices (85% of total), has been transferred to the national data center and that the current vote count from this data is 1,737,078.
As IEC has always insisted on timely announcing the primary results of the elections, one of the IEC commissioners Mawlana Mohammad Abdullah says the commission might delay the announcement as all works are being followed with full transparency.
The IEC officials are speaking on transparency and un-interference of foreigners in work process of the commission at a time after critics regarding recent visits of political representatives of foreign embassies to Kabul from the commission.
But, the IEC spokesperson by rejecting the critics said that recent visits of foreign ambassadors from the IEC and their meetings with IEC officials were introductory and public and only election-related issues have been discussed, adding that all visits and meetings have been shared with media and the people.
A number of experts and electoral watchdog organizations say if Independent Election Commission continues what it is doing now, primary results of the election might be announced with some delay, but the delay is long, the election will go to crisis.
“Afghanistan presidential election was held and followed with various problems; therefore, all hope candidate will not let crisis happen after the announcement of the election results,” said Javed Kohistani, an Afghan political expert.
He added that the people wanted the IEC to declare the primary results of the election as soon as possible to end all concerns of the people in this regard.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a statement has urged the government and electoral bodies to safeguard and complete the election process.
This presidential elections was the first completely run by Afghan authorities since 2001 and is an important milestone in Afghanistan’s transition to self-reliance, the statement said.
“Afghan citizens braved security threats to cast their votes for a better future. Those voters deserve to be commended for carrying out their civic duty,” it said.
UNAMA urges all stakeholders to have an accurate understanding of the tallying process before making comments about the election. The UN also urges the IEC and ECC to ensure all stakeholders understand the tally process.

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The Kabul Times.