EU urges deeper inquiry into Afghan election fraud

The European Union (EU) on July 3 called on Afghanistan to conduct a more extensive investigation into vote-rigging in their presidential election. The following day the Independent Election Commission (IEC) supervising the race postponed the release of the preliminary results of the election while it recounts votes from nearly 2,000 polling sites. Candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani both have claimed victory after the outcome of the June 14 run-off election. EU Election Assessment Team chief observer Thijs Berman told reporters, "If you would use these factors as well and investigate all polling stations…on the basis of these factors you may well end up concluding that over 6,000 polling stations in the country need a thorough investigation."

In June Abdullah announced that he has suspended his campaign's cooperation with the IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), alleging fraud by the IEC. The IECC said that there have been more incidents of serious fraud reported in the April presidential election than the previous election in 2009, when more than a million suspect votes were thrown out. The April 5 election was praised for its high voter turnout and the failure of Taliban militants to stage attacks on election day. However, by mid-April, the IECC had recorded 3,724 complaints, 870 of which are classified as "Priority A" complaints considered serious enough to affect the outcome of the election. The previous 2009 election had a total of 3,072 complaints and 815 Priority A incidents.

From Jurist, July 4. Used with permission.

  1. Afghanistan: US scrambles against slide into chaos

    Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates agreed to accept the results of an internationally monitored recount brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry and to abide by a power-sharing arrangement regardless of who prevails. (NYT, Aug. 8) Kerry's visit comes days after an attacker wearing an Afghan military uniform opened fire at service members of the NATO-led coalitiony, killing US Maj. Gen Harold Greene—the first US general to be killed in a war zone since the Vietnam War. (NPR, Aug. 5)