The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) on Tuesday released its first official report on fraud and other electoral violations during the presidential runoff election.
“FEFA has noted more than 6,651 cases of violations on Election Day,” FEFA Head Nadir Naderi said at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday..
According to the report, 396 polling centers faced delayed openings, 368 witnessed ballot shortages, 344 were closed later than scheduled and 269 had problems with the quality of the ink used to mark voters’ fingers. There were campaign posters within 100 meters of 246 centers, despite the restrictions against campaigning near polling places.
“FEFA observed that some campaign posters were pasted on the walls near many polling centers,” FEFA Chief Executive Mohammad Yousof Rashid said.
The report also claims that FEFA observers were not allowed to monitor 176 of the polling centers, often being threatened with violence.
FEFA highlighted police interference and the meddling of Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) staff as the most serious violations in the election process.
The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) on Tuesday said nearly 1,000 of the roughly 2,500 complaints it received since Election Day were against IEC employees. In the first round back, over 5,000 IEC workers ended up being blacklisted for their involvement in fraud.
In addition, underage voting, shortage of ballot papers, interference of powerful figures and government officials, and familial power dynamics affecting women’s votes were among the other problems listed by FEFA.
The IEC and the ECC are expected to review FEFA’s report and integrate it into their investigations of fraud.