KABUL – The Election Support Group (ESG) recognizes the initial delay to publish preliminary results was due to the need to finalize key procedures in the interest of ensuring a transparent and credible outcome. However, the ESG urges the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to work diligently to keep further delays to a minimum.
The Election Support Group (ESG) consists of key donors – the European Union, the Governments of Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway (on behalf of the Nordic plus), the United Kingdom, the United States of America – as well as NATO and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). It is chaired by UNAMA and convenes on a weekly basis.
The ESG strongly urges the IEC and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) as custodians of the votes of the Afghan people to provide accurate and timely information to the public about election results and the auditing process, including clarifying for the candidates, public and electoral stakeholders the criteria used to order such audits and recounts, and the expected timeframe to announce preliminary and certified results.
Noting the many valid concerns expressed by candidates and their supporters about the vote tallying process, the ESG reiterates its previous call for all candidates to respect the Election Law and the Code of Conduct they signed and to refrain from any actions or statements that undermine the process.
The ESG further reiterates that the credibility of the election is the collective responsibility of not just the electoral institutions, but all Afghan stakeholders, including candidates, and calls upon candidates and their supporters to support the remaining phases of the process.
The ESG urges all candidates to cooperate with the recount and audit process and follow the formal ECC complaints process to raise their concerns about the alleged irregularities. The ESG urges the IEC to answer clearly and in a timely manner concerns raised by candidates about the process.