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IEC Chief Warns It May Announce Results Despite Unfinished Recount

(Last Updated On: December 5, 2019)

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC), on Thursday, warned that it would announce the preliminary results of 2019 Presidential Election if protesters do not allow vote recount in the seven provinces.

Speaking to journalists, IEC Chief Hawa Alam Nooristani called on protesters to permit vote recount in the provinces, since closure of its offices undermines the independence of the commission.

“If our offices remain closed, we will have to make a decision and announce the results by sharing the data we have with Afghan people.” IEC Chief Nooristani said.” We cannot wait anymore; it is not acceptable for the people.”

However, electoral watchdogs believe that announcement of election results is not possible in the current situation.

“I don’t believe preliminary and final results will be announced in a short time from now. Unfortunately, IEC does not have the capacity to convince the protesters and break this election deadlock,” said Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, the executive director of Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, head of IEC Secretariat asked assistance from The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) for opening its offices in the seven provinces.

“We want their cooperation, since a number of sites they had to audit are in these seven provinces.  We should work together and collaborate,” IEC Secretariat Chief Habib Rahman Nang said.

IEEC, however, said that it acted as intermediary between the candidates and election commission but both sides did not compromise.

“Despite monitoring the process, IEEC tried to intervene and mediate between them but they did not listen to our words,” IECC deputy spokesman Fayaz said.

The Afghan Presidential Election was held on September 28 across the country. The IEC has repeatedly failed to announce the preliminary results due to technical problems and widespread protests

Protesters disrupted the vote recount process in seven provinces, citing “transparency”.

They are calling for invalidation of 300,000 controversial votes, votes that they believe are “non-biometric and fraudulent.”

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