The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) said up to 8,500 complaints from 31 provinces are “serious” and can impact the total number of votes – which is more than 1.8 million.
The preliminary presidential election results were announced on December 22 and the IECC received over 16,500 complaints mainly from three campaign teams – of Abdullah Abdullah, President Ghani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Based on the preliminary results President Ghani has narrowly surpassed the necessary amount needed to forego a second round, but the number of complaints, combined with the small number difference between votes for candidates, may necessitate a second round.
The IECC has divided the complaints into 16 categories and has categorized over 3,000 complaints to be about electoral crimes.
“The first (A) section contains 8,478 complaints, which are about votes and are important, the second (B) section contains 1,021 complaints, which are about persons,” IECC member Qasim Elyasi said.
According to the IECC, 4,248 complaints are about electoral violations and 6,679 are about differences in biometric-registered and ballot paper-based votes.
“Forget about the 8,000 complaints-- if 20 complaints are investigated seriously the election is going to the second term,” said former election commission official Daud Ali Najafi.
The IECC has said that the assessment of the complaints will take 39 working days.
The IECC has completed assessment of over 14,000 votes in the first stage but it has not assessed complaints lodged in Daikundi, Ghor and Helmand provinces due to internet service problems, say IECC members.
“If the complaints are investigated correctly, impartially and professionally, it is possible to bring changes in the election result,” said the chief of the Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan, Naeem Ayubzada.