FEFA Election Declaration
The voting process of the 2019 presidential election, is officially over. The Free and Fair Elections Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) forwards its sincere gratitude and thanks to all stakeholder parties, especially the brave security forces, IEC staff and the honorable people of Afghanistan, for their presence and participation in the process. By monitoring and observing the voting process in 34 provinces of the country, from the beginning to the end, the FEFA has shared, its observatory findings and, in two occasions by press release, during the elections process, with the Election Commission and the honorable people of the country. The Major points of FEFA’s findings from the voting process in 34 provinces are as following:
1. Overall, the turnout/participation rate especially for women in today's elections, has been reported low in all provinces across the country. Although in the central regions, from early morning to mid-day, the participation was relatively high, but in the second half of the day also, participation has been reported low.
2. The number of open polling centres across the country according to the last update, of the IEC was announced to be 4,500 PCs, while the overall findings FEFA shows that about 3 , 3,891 polling centres across the country have been open and have reported the IEC. It is noteworthy that the contacts of observer intuitions with a number of provinces and districts has not been possible due to outage of and brake down of telecommunication networks, during the, therefore the true figures of open polling centres, is not confirmed so far . It should be noted, however, that in some districts, the lack of election materials has led to the closure of polling centres and stations. For example, in the Mandol and DoAb districts of Nooristan province, 50 polling stations, including 10 polling centres, remained closed and barred of pooling. In total, of the 52 centres in Nooristan province, 31 were open and 21 remained closed.
3. The Commission's lack of coordination and effective communication with polling center was one of the most serious cases that disrupted the voting process in some provinces, even in Kabul, for example, the Commission's decision to resolve the technical and substantive problems of the voting process, especially in the part of voters whose names were not present in none of the (voter’s list or biometric device) until about three hours after it was adopted. Officials at the centers and stations had not been notified.
4. FEFA's observed that, the polling staff did not follow the procedures of the registration, processing process. For example, in some polling stations, even in Kabul, the staff responsible for the biometric apparatus took some photo IDs, and sometimes a back stickers. However, according to the Commission's guidelines, the photograph of the sticker should had been taken, not the identity card.
5. The malfunction of the biometric devices, although limited, resulted in disruption or interruption of the polling process in different provinces. In Helmand province, for example, some polling centers and polling stations were disrupted due to the malfunction of biometric devices.
6. The security challenge, although scattered but nationwide, has affected the electoral process in different parts of the country. Security incidents were reported from Nangarhar, Gharni, Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Laghman and Bamyan provinces from the beginning of the day, even before the voting process began. For example, in Bamyan province, in Kohmard and Shibar districts, five polling centers were closed due to insecurity and commission personnel were transferred to safe places by security forces. In Jawzjan province, in Aqcha, Qurghin and Darzab districts, a number of centers have been prevented from polling because of attacks armed opposition. In another example, in the Bahark district of Badakhshan province, due to the district being overrun by opposition, voting was suspended around four o'clock and funds and materials were moved to Taleqan of Takhar province.
7. Interruption of telecommunications disrupts in some cases made impossible the IEC contact with its regional offices in Sare Pul, Takhar, Nooristan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Nimroz, Badghis, Ghor, Farah, Jawzjan, Herat districts of Logar and other provinces.
The overall and primary evaluation shows that voting process across the country, have faced with the disruptions, and deficiencies. Therefore, FEFA sincerely requests the Electoral Commissions to consider a clear and transparent mechanism for investigating violations and separating clean and unclean votes to ensure transparency in the calculation and announcement of preliminary and final results. FEFA calls on committees not to rely on the figures of some election observation bodies, and to report independently and statistically in a transparent manner. FEFA also notes that any statistics and conclusions regarding the election results from FEFA are incorrect and FEFA calls for prosecution of fraudulent individuals or entities by security agencies.FEFA Election Declaration- End of polling