ANREL calls for fair probe into complaints

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) Foundation has called for the electoral watchdog to thoroughly investigate complaints and working transparently to provide justice to aggrieved candidates.
Encouraged by the substantial polling station presence of civil society election monitors, it said the work of monitors and candidate agents continued all the way through electoral dispute resolution and verification of final results.
In a report on the June 14 runoff vote, the foundation suggested a full investigation into a controversial transfer of ballots to restore public confidence and avoid such incidents in the future. “Ballots should never leave the premises of the IEC before proper security protocols are followed.”
The restocking of ballots was necessary in the first place because some polling stations again ran out of ballots by around 11am, an unfortunate repeat occurrence to what happened on the April 5. ANFREL proposed a proper voter list, wherein each voter is assigned to vote at a particular polling station.
It hoped candidates’ previous promises to accept the election results of the IEC and IECC would still be followed. Slinging unsubstantiated accusations of fraud might be politically appealing but damaged the perceived legitimacy of the election, the organisation argued.
“It is incumbent upon the Independent Election Commission, Independent Electoral Complaints Commission and all stakeholders to transparently carry the process toward a just conclusion. The Afghan people deserve nothing less,” it added.
For the second time in the last three months, the Afghans had shown that the future they chose for their country was a democratic one, it said, linking the high turnout to the security forces’ hard work.
ANFREL commended the IEC for replacing staff members who allegedly performed in a partial manner during the elections’ first round. The panel should continue its work with additional training for all staff and disciplinary action against those unable to work impartially, it stressed.
pr/mud

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