EU team notes less fraud than in previous vote
KABUL (Pajhwok): The European Union Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) on Thursday welcomed the release of the final results from the April presidential polls.
Thijs Berman, the EU team leader, noted lack of information provided to candidates and observers by the IEC during tallying, audits and recounts had significantly limited the level of transparency.
He said candidates and observers were not granted the necessary information to be able to crosscheck results announced by the IEC against those coming from polling stations before the end of the complaint period.
Berman insisted: "transparency will need to improve decisively in the interest of candidates and all Afghan citizens who are entitled to receive accurate and fast information. It is vital that, following the second round, the IEC takes the necessary steps to ensure timely online publication of individual polling station results."
The EU EAT urged the IEC to clarify its criteria for recounting and auditing votes. Most importantly, it needs to ensure the consistent application of those criteria and to quarantine questionable results before publishing them.
“Fraud has still been important in the first round of the presidential election, but less massive than in previous elections. Attempts to influence the outcome by fraud did not modify the ranking of the leading candidates…”
The EU team said it would remain vigilant on the electoral campaign for the presidential run-off, including on its tone and balance, calling upon both contenders and all stakeholders to respect democratic standards.
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