Election observers on Monday said that corruption with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) is tragic.
The delay in Kabul election results is rooted in financial bargaining between members of the IEC and other reservations, said the observers, adding that the government’s reluctance to fire IEC officials from their posts was also questionable.
Meanwhile, IEC deputy spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi has said: “The independent electoral complaints commission has dispatched its final decision about nine provinces which include Bamiyan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Samangan, Urozgan, Nimroz, Zabul, Laghman and Parwan. The commission will soon announce the results.”
Three months have passed since Afghanistan held its parliamentary elections, but the IEC so far has failed to announce preliminary election results for Kabul. But election observers argue that the results are delayed because of irregularities in the election commission.
“There are issues which are not defined technically and according to procedures and this is delaying it. But all these issues are rooted to exceptions and reservations. The independent election commission unfortunately has become the victim of reservations and these reservations could be very harmful,” said Mohammad Yousuf Rashid, head of Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).
“Based on the reports and information we have, the commission is sunk in financial and moral corruption and this is delaying the results of the elections,” said Sughra Saadat, spokesman for Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA).
According to observers, there is consensus among the donors, who are funding the election process, that the IEC members should step down from their posts over poor management and poor leadership.
“There is a consensus regarding the dismissal of the commissioners and head of the secretariat and some provincial chiefs. This consensus exists among the donors, embassies, civil society, but in some areas, the government is escaping from its responsibility and this has created doubts for us,” said Khalil Raufi, head of Afghanistan Youth Training Center.
“Parliamentary elections led to defamation, but they (IEC officials) organized presidential elections, Afghanistan will move towards a crisis,” said MP Sakhi Mashwani.
This comes a day after Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish criticized IEC over its poor management of the works in the election process, saying the IEC has committed an act of oppression against the people of Afghanistan.
Allegations of fraud, violations and corruption against the election commission have raised questions on the image of the Afghan people and the Afghan government in the international arena, said Danish, amid growing calls for systematic reforms within the election management body of the country, which has been under massive pressure over poor management of the electoral process.
The people are running out of patience because of these two commissions, said Danish, referring to the IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).
Danish said that there is a need for systematic reform to be put in place within the election commissions.
“The election commissions should know that the people of Afghanistan are running out of patience and they cannot withstand weakness and inefficiency more than this. Now it is up to the national unity government to consider comprehensive reforms,” he said.
While the election commission said transparency was the reason behind election results delays, a number of institutions overseeing the elections process said “illegal” demands by a number of officials of the commission from a number of candidates, was one of the reasons for the delay.
“We have been given reports about deals and corruption,” said Naeem Ayubzada, CEO of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.