STATEMENT: Current electoral status requires deep restraint by election stakeholders, legal and peaceful corrective measures needed – TEFA
First published on the website of TEFA on 28 November 2019.
KABUL – TEFA’s observation findings reveal that the 2019 presidential electoral process is severely harmed by technical and managerial challenges which can in turn undermine electoral integrity.
Amidst this existing problematic and highly vulnerable electoral atmosphere, TEFA strongly believes that breach of law by EMBs, illegal decisions of IEC, cessation of IEC’s technical operations, IEC’s closed provincial offices, IEC’s disinterest in sharing electoral data with the public and other election stakeholders, lack of jurisdiction for presidential tickets’ complaints on election recount and audit, absence of presidential tickets’ observers in IEC’s technical processes, emerging obscurities in the electoral process, increasing discontents, not to mention the preparations being held for a mass demonstration on the current electoral process, altogether can be a matter to be deeply concerned about.
TEFA also conceives political pressures, and interventions in IEC’s works an obvious reason for why IEC has failed miserably in its decisions, causing repetitive breach of electoral calendar.
TEFA considers the current electoral process a dilemma that is seemingly unmanageable, and thus recommends the following for devising rational and corrective measures:
1. TEFA strongly believes that mass demonstration can be of no positive impact on the process, and can conversely be the cause of the next big problematic thing, and therefore calls upon all presidential tickets to exercise restraint. ECC-the sole body of complaints jurisdiction-must be greatly vigilant in conducting its role professionally and as well as impartially.
2. Citizens and candidates are all entitled with the right to place their complaints; however, such complaints should not necessarily undermine EMBs’ works, as electoral lessons learned in retrospect have proven cessation of EMBs’ work a clear pretext for unjustifiable political settlements and a pure waste of citizens’ votes.
3. For reaching a logical corrective action, TEFA suggests on holding a technical summit among election stakeholders including EMBs, election observer foundations, presidential tickets, United Nations, the US Embassy, and European Union, so that IEC could place itself accountable and to subsequently come up with a legal decision.
4. IEC must not announce the preliminary results of elections prior to concluding the recount process and other technical processes, because chances are that this act-should take-will produce adverse and unacceptable results for a number of presidential tickets.
Ahmad Zubair Habibzada Spokesperson, TEFA
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