Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has started sorting the complaints in all 34 provinces of the country, a member of the commission said, adding that there are 16 types of complaints, including preferential bias towards a particular candidate by election officials or changing votes for or against a candidate.
According to the officials, most of the complaints are about votes from Nangarhar, Kabul and Kandahar. Overall, the commission has received at least 16,500 complaints, mainly registered by the campaign teams of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani and Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
The types of complaints according to the IECC:
• Difference in number of biometric-registered and ballot paper votes
• Increase of votes in favor of one candidate
• Decrease of votes in favor of one candidate
• Transfer of votes from one candidate to another
• Votes cast before polling day
• Votes cast after polling day
• Non-biometric votes
• Invalidation of votes from polling stations without any reason
• Missing ballot papers
• Change in ballot paper lists after vote count
• Suspicious votes
• Complaints about functioning of biometric devices
• Favoring election commission employees
• Vote count in absence of monitors
• Fraud in vote counting process
• Illogical complaints
“Our colleagues faced some problems during the registration (of the complaints),” IECC member Qasim Elyasi said. “For instance, some envelopes were marked “Balkh” or “Takhar” while they belonged to Kunduz province.”
IECC figures show that Nangarhar, with 2,321 complaints, is at the top of the list, followed by Kabul, with 2,300 complaints, and then Kandahar with 2,000 complaints.
Jawzjan is in the bottom of the list with four complaints.
“The complaints will have an impact on the polling results if the commission is able to investigate the complaints, but if it (the IECC) does not fulfill its responsibility it will lead the country into a crisis and will affect the democracy,” said Daud Ali Najafi, former head of the IEC secretariat.
Recently, an IECC official said the commission has ten days to assess complaints in some provinces, which is a “limited” time.
“The offices of the IECC in the center (Kabul) and other provinces should try to prevent the violation of the law and fulfill their duties based on the law,” suggested Yusuf Rasheed, head of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan.
“Judgments should be made impartially and complaints should be assessed,” said MP Mohammad Sadiq Qaderi.
According to the IECC, the assessment of the complaints which began this week will take 39 working days.
The preliminary results of the September presidential polls were announced on December 22, with incumbent President Ashraf Ghani narrowly topping the list of candidates by earning 50.64% of the total votes out of more than 1.8 million votes, according to the Independent Election Council.