Monday, October 19, 2009
Here is a press release received today from the United Nations . . .
The United Nations-backed panel probing allegations of irregularities in the recent Afghan elections today submitted its findings to the national electoral body, which will now determine whether or not President Hamid Karzai received more than 50 per cent of the votes in order to avoid a run-off.
The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) was tasked with auditing suspicious ballot boxes and other complaints related to the 20 August presidential elections.
Following its investigations, it ordered the Independent Election Commission (IEC) – which organized the polls – to invalidate 210 polling stations around the country where the ECC found clear and convincing evidence of fraud.
“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,” said Aleem Siddique, spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
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 the presidential elections.
During the process, 343 suspicious ballot boxes were randomly picked from across the country and flown into the capital, Kabul, where they were examined by a team of officials from the IEC, ECC, and the UN Development Programme’s election project, known as UNDP/ELECT.
The ECC also gave a decision on the 646 polling stations that the IEC had quarantined after the election, because they contained more than 1,000 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, which will make the necessary calculations by discarding the ballots declared as fraudulent from the preliminary results.
The IEC is expected to announce the final certified results within the next few days.