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Final Report on the Presidential and Provincial Council elections in Afghanistan - 2009
OSCE & ODIHR
Source of the information:
Following an invitation from the Afghan government, the OSCE Permanent Council mandated the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) to deploy an Election Support Team (EST) to the 2009 Afghan presidential and provincial council elections “to support government and international efforts” and “to produce a report on the electoral process... including a set of recommendations” for the next elections in 2010 and beyond.
The 20 August presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan were the third since 2001, and the first to be Afghan-led. They were held under extremely challenging circumstances, including a volatile security environment that undermined the ability to hold credible elections.
This report attempts to contribute realistic and concrete recommendations on how to improve electoral processes, to help Afghanistan meet its international commitments in the field of elections, and to allow Afghan voters to regain trust in the process and enjoy fully their democratic rights.
The report makes the following recommendations to avoid the most egregious problems of 2009 in 2010.
Reform of the Afghan-formed Independent Election Commission (IEC): Strengthening the independence, impartiality, transparency, accountability and credibility of election administration as a whole, but most especially of the IEC, should be a priority.
Strengthening checks and balances in the electoral process. Checks and balances in the electoral process should be reinforced, in particular by strengthening the role of the ECC and of domestic observers, including candidates and their agents.
Priority of Election Reform on the Agenda of the Afghan Conference: In order to foster political commitment and will for reform, and to agree upon principles and priorities of reform, it is recommended that high-level multi-stakeholder consultations take place on these immediate issues as well as on longer-term election reform at the upcoming international conference on Afghanistan planned for January 2010 in London.
The report also offers recommendations for long-term election reform