Tuesday April 22, 2014
Kabul (BNA) The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Sunday announced the second partial results of the presidential elections putting Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent of the votes and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the second position with 33.2 percent votes while Zalmai Rassoul on third place with 10.4 percent votes.
Addressing a news conference here in Kabul, chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani announced that Abdulla is in the lead with 44.4 percent. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai trails with 33.2 percent while another candidate Zalmai Rassoul is in the third position with 10.4 percent of the votes.
“Today’s announcement shouldn’t be considered the final decision,” Mr. Nuristani said. “There will be changes in the results as we are still counting the votes.” In addition, the IEC chief said that the partial results were based totally on votes whose authenticity had been certified by the election commission of Afghanistan. Of the 3.5 million votes, Abdullah received 1.5 million Ghani got 1.1 million and Rassoul 350,000. According to the election commission, the second partial results comprised of 49.67 percent votes from 34 provinces and it is the result of 3.5 million votes counted nationwide. Of the 34 provinces in Afghanistan, Abdullah leads the votes in 17 provinces; Ghani is the second in 15 provinces and Zalmai Rassoul with a majority in only provinces of the country.
In the meantime, the presidential candidates have expressed their views on the second partial results in different manner and have expressed hope that the electoral bodies particularly the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) by considering its national obligation before the nation will strive hard for maintaining the transparency of the elections. “The results will change once all complaints have been addressed by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC),” Ghani said. The ECC has received some 870 complaints that directly pertain to results, and is not expected to complete its investigation and adjudication process until mid-May. The IEC chief Nuristani said preliminary results will be announced according to schedule.
“We will do our best to announce preliminary results on April 24,” he said. “Our employees are working double shifts to ensure that preliminary results are announced as scheduled. Responding to a question with respect to the speculations on some disagreements between the IEC staff, Mr. Nuristani said, “I think the IEC staff have always worked in a harmony, everyone in the commission has their own perspectives, but the final decision is taken jointly which is in the interests of Afghan nation, we must respect the votes of people and save this deposit.” In response to a question regarding interference of some pressures on the election commission Nuristani said, “We don’t surrender to any pressure and there are no pressures on us, we have already rejected this thing, we have heard such words in the past and rejected them, independency and neutrality have major importance for us.”
April 5 historic election saw unexpectedly high turnout, defying fears of militant violence and speculations that suspicion of fraud would keep voters from showing up in large numbers for the country’s first democratic transition of power in modern history. Although Election Day reportedly saw less ballot box stuffing and voter fraud than was the case in 2009, accusations of improprieties biasing certain candidates have increased in the days since.
The historic elections witnessed unprecedented high turnout after the people of Afghanistan defied the threats and intimidation of surge groups and speculations on possible riggings and frauds participated in the elections in large manner to lead the country toward political stability, long-standing peace and security. April 5 elections will also pave the way for peaceful transition of political power from one elected president to another.
Tuesday April 22, 2014