Elections in Hibernation: Afghanistan’s stalled electoral reform

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process has been bogged down for months. While the National Unity Government agreement called for the “immediate establishment” of an Electoral Reform Commission, it took the president five months just to sign the necessary decree. Now, three months later, the commission has still not started its work and it looks like the original […]

Elections (40): The IECC open sessions on election day complaints

Earlier this month, while the IEC was busy deciding whether to announce the highly controversial preliminary results or not, the IECC embarked on its third round of complaints adjudication. The first two rounds – first round presidential and the, now paused, provincial council hearings – had already been a rushed and largely formalistic affair. This […]

Elections 2014 (24): The IECC’s performance addressing provincial council complaints

While most observers are focused on the upcoming second round of the presidential election, the process surrounding the provincial council vote is still ongoing. The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) finished its open sessions last week and, in response to allegations of manipulation by IEC staff, ordered a widespread recount of votes, which had already […]

2014 Elections (21): A closer look at the IECC’s performance and the challenges it faced

For the first time since elections were held in post-Taleban Afghanistan, the country’s Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has held a series of open sessions addressing electoral complaints. The concept was, in principle, welcomed by independent observers, candidates’ agents and civil society, but the process itself was often confused and rushed and sometimes overly bureaucratic. […]

Elections 2014 (19): Final results’ timeline trumps transparency

This morning, on 15 May 2014, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the final results of the first round of the presidential elections. Both frontrunners have since then publicly accepted the results, while still claiming that in a fair process they would have done better, and are readying themselves for the second round vote that […]

Elections 2014 (13): The IEC and IECC’s reluctance to be transparent

An overriding theme over the past two weeks has been the reluctance of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to publicly release detailed information as to what is going on with the vote count. Both bodies are now catching up, but only reluctantly so, and the first round of the […]

Elections 2014 (11): How the Hazaras voted in Bamyan

Initial observations appear to show that Dr Abdullah has won the majority of the vote in Bamyan – with Ashraf Ghani so far second by a large margin. Bamyan is important – a province which is generally secure and has a highly motivated electorate. It is also the one province with an overwhelmingly ethnic Hazara […]