The European Union’s Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) presented its final report on Afghanistan’s recent presidential elections, calling for a “rapid anti-fraud electoral reform.”
Presenting the report to the press on Monday in Kabul, the EU Chief Observer Thijs Berman said the report included all main findings on the Afghan election process together with recommendations for future elections.
All the commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) should be nominated by an independent board, the report suggested; safeguards should be introduced to ensure the neutrality of electoral officials.
The report urged for the distribution of electronic ID cards, saying it can establish a new and reliable civil register.
To protect the women vote, EU-EAT recommended the appointment of female staff in polling centers to ensure women’s access to secured and appropriate sites.
Furthermore, the assessment team stressed the need for enhancement of coordination mechanism of domestic observers in order to increase their national coverage.
Talking of a large-scale fraud in the run-off election, Berman stated the application of anti-fraud measures was inconsistent.
“The growth of democracy and the credibility of electoral institutions in Afghanistan have suffered a severe blow by the extent of fraud,” Berman said. “Both the president and chief executive realize this, and it is essential step that electoral reform in order to reinforce the confidence in the institutions is part of the political agreement.”
In addition, he also criticized the failure to announce the final elections and audit results.
“The absence of detailed results, deprived Afghan citizens of a full and transparent outcome,” Berman noted.
Based on the report, there was no dispute on the outcome of the first round held in April 5. But the run-off, which was organized in June 14, was characterized by a large-scale fraud.