FEFA says Afghanistan in ‘extremely critical stage,’ calls for solidarity, order

Press Release
1 October 2019

The 2019 presidential elections of have been held in 34 provinces of the country, due to the efforts of officials and cooperation of the brave security forces .The Free and Fair Elections Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) considers holding elections at this critical juncture a major step towards enhancing the democratic system in the country and renewing the Afghan people's covenant with the democratic system. Now that the voting process has elapsed, the election process has entered one of its most sensitive stages. The vote counts in a transparent and impartial manner with a thorough and independent vote review and sharing all the facts and figures, and announcing the results of the election in a completely impartial and independent manner, is the undoubted right of the people and electoral stakeholder institutions and this is a deserved and suitable response to the nation that has been always on the scene and to the sacrifices of the heroic security forces of the country.

On Election Day, FEFA released two election flyers (press release), containing, its nationwide observatory findings on the opening, progress and closure of work of polling centers and stations. Low turnout / participation compared to previous elections, problems in voter’s lists, lack of coordination of IEC with polling station staff, failure in deanery of electoral materials in some districts, dysfunction and malfunction of biometric devices in some cases ,differences in figures announce by IEC regarding the open and closed centers, security problems, and interruption of telecommunications in some provinces were among the major issues in the that partially disrupted voting process in the provinces, the country. FEFA will continue to observe the ballot counting process in the center and provinces and will monitor the complaints process until the final results are announced.

Providing information and accurate statistics of the electoral process, especially names and location of active and non-active polling centers and stations, on the day of the election, turnout across the country, and the partial results is essential and extremely effective in increasing the degree of transparency and strengthening the national confidence over the process. Dissemination of varying statistics by the IEC over the past two days on open and closed polling centers) early on the day ,4341 ,mid-day ,4371 ,late-day ,4500 ,and tomorrow of the election 4905 ,centers ,(and continuing to provide different statistics in some provinces are matter of concerns .The Commission needs pave the ground for access of candidates, parties and civil organizations to results forms coming from polling stations, assure the public for the security of sensitive materials and the safe return of these materials. In addition, immediately prepare the specific timeline for tabulation and votes count, in the center, and share it with observers. Re-establishing contact with provinces of the country that could not be reached in the past few days due to interruptions in telecommunications, by alternative means, if possible with the ATRA, and providing clarity on how the elections and the results will be conducted in the provinces.

With the start of the third phase of the election, the complaints appealing process is over, and now the focus is on the ECC and how it works .The Electoral Complaints commission is expected perform and fulfill its job systematically, legally and in the presence of observers responsibly and in the best possible way, regarding transparently and independently addressing the complaints and remaining unaffected by possible pressure.

Distinguished candidates, parties and political currents are also expected to respect the work of the  electoral  commissions  and  relevant  laws  and  to  be  patient,  in  cooperation  with  the commissions, awaiting the announcement of the results by the legal authorities, and to avoid prejudice and dissemination of undocumented statistics and figures. FEFA believes that the country is at an extremely critical stage. The complexity of the issues and sensitivities created by the electoral process and the election campaigns requires rational behavior and reasonable stances to defuse the situation and prepare the public to accept the election results. The campaigns have passed and now the country and society need to maintain solidarity and order, and respected candidates play a key role in maintaining and strengthening this order through tolerance and rational treatment.

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FEFA-Press Release-1 October 2019

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