EU team observing audit of ballots

KABUL (Pajhwok): The European Union Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) said on Saturday it was actively observing the ongoing audit of the presidential run‐off vote.
The EU EAT is the main international observer organisation participating in the audit. In coming weeks, up to 242 observers will be involved in the EU EAT assessment of the run‐off vote.
Working in shifts on a permanent basis, the EU EAT observers, will assess if the audit process is conducted in line with agreed procedures. Possible irregularities will be registered and brought to the attention of the authorities concerned.
EU EAT Chief Observer Thijs Berman said: “The European support for this audit in Afghanistan is unprecedented in the history of EU election observation missions around the world. This audit is a necessary step…”
In a statement, he said they had repeatedly called for the investigation, because only with full transparency and an in‐depth audit, the Afghans would be able to feel confident about the outcome of the elections.
The EU team trained in audit methodology a first group of 135 observers in Kabul, including a majority of diplomats from EU member states, embassies based in the Afghan capital, as well as US diplomats and USAID staff.
An additional 100 observers will be trained in similar conditions on July 20 in Kabul, 35 of them European. The EU is currently recruiting another 100 observers from member states, as well as from Canada, Norway and Switzerland.
Commenting talks between election stakeholders, Berman expressed the concern the negotiations on the precise audit procedure needed to be concluded soon.
“Candidates should continue their dialogue with election authorities and the United Nations in a constructive spirit, and agree on all aspects of the audit process without delay. They have the collective responsibility to contribute to a speedy process that respects the will of the Afghan voters,” Berman concluded.

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