Political Landscape

Finishing the unfinished election (2): Panjshir and Kapisa


Not all provinces show signs of a very uneven rate of disqualification between the presidential en provincial council elections, like we saw in Helmand Khost or Farah. Take for instance Panjshir.

In Panjshir the number of votes excluded in the presidential and provincial council elections were more or less comparable: 4,750 out of 44,850 votes disqualified in the presidential election (10.6%) and 3,318 out of 42,213 votes for the provincial council (7.9%). Moreover, in Panjshir the ECC decision did actually affect the outcome of the provincial council vote.

The ECC decision for Panjshir shows that eight complaints were dismissed: four over insufficient information and/or evidence, two because the results of the investigation did not support the complaint, one because the indications for ballot stuffing were inconclusive (some uniform markings for one candidate but nothing else) and one because the results of the polling centre had not been published by the IEC.

Four complaints were found to be justified – three cases of ballot stuffing and one case of tally fraud – and they resulted in the invalidation of all votes cast in the four polling centres concerned. The evidence for ballot stuffing included: missing forms, missing unused ballots, marked ballots still on their stubs, transposed results and a large number of uniform markings. The evidence for the tally fraud included: uniform markings in all polling stations, identical results for all 7 candidates in all polling stations, and all forms signed by the same IEC staff members and candidate agent.

The IEC staff who had signed the tally sheets were fined 20,000 afs – as was the candidate whose agent had signed the sheets – and were banned from working in the electoral administration for the coming five years, as was the polling centre manager. The candidate who was fined, moreover, lost so many votes in this polling centre (1,281 in three neat installments of 427 votes) that he lost his seat in the provincial council.

Something similar happened in Kapisa, where ballots were invalidated in four polling centres because of confirmed allegations of ballot stuffing. The evidence included uniform markings on a large number of ballots, missing forms and a significantly higher number of votes in the female polling station, as compared to the corresponding male stations. One candidate lost a total of 3,049 votes, bringing his vote total down to 1,312 which was not enough for a seat on the council.

However the discrepancy between the final presidential and provincial council count totals in Kapisa – respectively 46,642 and 61,600 – suggests that at least 15,000 suspicious votes have still been included in the provincial council result. The final results per polling station, like in many other places, show signs of suspicious voting patterns.

For instance polling centre 206085, where the unusually high number of 2,994 votes was divided amont three candidates: 1,700 votes for candidate 5 (in neat installments of 0 / 500 / 300 / 0 / 400 / 500) and respectively 528 and 766 for candidates 8 and 52. In polling centre 204053 candidate 5 received  0 / 0 / 0 / 300 votes. In polling centre 204054 candidate 43 received 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 490 votes. In polling centre candidate 5 received 200 / 100 votes in two polling stations, while candidate 43 gathered 107 / 536. In polling centre 206082 candidate 5 received 400 / 400 out of a total vote of 882. In polling centre 204040 candidate 5 received 300 / 200 / 0 / 0, while candidate 43 got 87 / 140 / 300 / 580 (total 1,207). And so on.

There have been a lot implausibly high numbers of votes cast in female polling centres. See for instance the last result mentioned above. But also polling centre 204039 where candidates 11 and 54 respectively received 0 / 2 / 0 / 102 / 220 and 5 / 11 / 6 / 205 / 360. Or 204052 where candidate 54 received 64 / 72 / 296. And so on. And so on.

Candidates 5, 54 and 43 were incidentally the candidates with the highest votes in Kapisa.

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Thematic Category: Political Landscape