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Ambassador Erfani at the ACGM (OSCE) on the upcoming Presidential and Provincial Council Elections in Afghanistan

Mr Chairman,

It has been an impressive and hectic few weeks in Afghanistan since our last Permanent Council and Asian Contact Group meetings.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The elections held on April 5th, 2014 were a huge win for the democracy and credibility of the electoral process in Afghanistan. The positive momentum flowing from this day has given a tremendous boost to the confidence of the Afghan people and our national security forces, and hopefully, it also serves as an indicator to our international partners and friends that better times lie ahead.

Nearly 7 million afghans 36% women ignored the security risked , defined the Taliban and cast their ballots on Election Day to chose among 8 diverse presidential candidates.

Since the initial round which took place on April 5, the Independent Electoral Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has worked tirelessly to examine the problematic nature of 444 polling stations, which required further inspection to determine the validity or invalidity of the votes from these stations before releasing the results. 291 polling stations have since been declared valid to count towards the election race. The remaining 153 stations were declared invalid due to a number of different reasons, a large number of which were due to the use of incorrect protocol on polling day: incorrect forms were used when filling out the ballot papers and could not be verified as official votes.

Following this initial examination of votes by the IEC, the IECC was given 2 weeks to evaluate complaints of fraudulent behavior which could affect the final outcome, in addition to evaluating the validity of decisions which were made by provincial councils at the polling stations. Based on IECC decisions, results from 331 polling stations have been invalidated and removed from the final tabulation.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On May 15, 2014, following the announcement of the preliminary Presidential Election results and subsequent investigations by the IECC, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has certified the final results of  the 2014 Presidential Election, conducted on 5 April 2014. In accordance with the Afghan Law on the Structure, Duties and Authorities of the IEC and the IECC, final election results, based on decisions of the (IECC), certification and announcement by the IEC cannot be amended (Article 14). The number and proportion of votes received by each Presidential candidate is as follows:

  • Dr. Abdullah Abdullah -#2,972,141 (45.0%)
  • Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzi – #2,084,547 (31.6%)
  • Dr. Zalmay Rasool ‐ 750,997 (11.4%)
  • Abdul Rab Rasool Sayaf – #465,207 (7.0%)
  • Eng Qutbuddin Hilal – #181,827 (2.8%)
  • M. Shafiq Gul Agha Shirzi – #103,636 (1.6%)
  • M. Daud Sultanzoy – #30,685 (0.5%)
  • Hidayat Amin Arsala – #15,506 (0.2%)

IECC decisions

These figures reflect the decisions of the IECC on electoral challenges, as presented to the IEC on the afternoon of 14 May. To view comprehensive final Presidential Election results, detailing the number of valid and invalid votes cast in favor of each candidate, according to polling center and station, please refer to IEC website result page.

Run-off Election

In accord with Afghan Electoral Law, in order to be elected President, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of votes. In the case that neither candidate receives more than half of the valid ballots cast, a “run-off” (second) election will be held, in which only the two leading candidates compete. The candidate who wins the most votes in the run-off election will be declared President (Article 20).

In fulfilment of its legal obligation, the IEC will conduct a run-off election on 14 June, with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzi, as the sole contenders.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

President Karzai, while strictly maintaining his impartiality, is committed to a swift and successful conclusion of the electoral process. To this end, preparations are well underway for the first ever democratic and peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan. All Government ministries have commenced their transition planning and are reporting regularly to the Cabinet on their progress, including lessons learned over the past decade and future priorities. An inter-ministerial committee has been assigned to prepare for the official inauguration of our incoming president. President Karzai is keen on holding this grand celebration within a week of the final announcement of the election results.  Of course we look forward to welcoming the dignitaries of all our international and regional partners to this joyous occasion, and will communicate a date to you as soon as possible.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The success of our fully Afghan-managed elections is an example of the professionalism of Afghan institutions and the culmination of our 13 year old partnership with the international community. Indeed our joint investments and sacrifices have not been in vain.  While we are incredibly proud of our electoral and security institutions, it is important that we recognize that their work is not yet over. On the same token, to ensure lasting success, it is crucial that the international community maintains its support and engagement in Afghanistan at this critical period. 2014 is an extraordinary year for Afghanistan. Along with exceptional and unprecedented milestones also come exceptional challenges. Our economy in particular has taken a hit as a result of the uncertainty and concerns surrounding the political transition.
Afghanistan has made remarkable progress in meeting its TMAF commitments, particularly with the recent passing of certain pieces of key legislation recently. To alleviate the economic pressures of the 2014 security and political transition, it is absolutely necessary that our international partners fulfill their financial commitments to Afghanistan. We are of course equally mindful and resolute to meeting our own obligations under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace and reconciliation will continue to remain a top priority of the Afghan Government in the years to come. The reconciliation and reintegration efforts of the last three years have laid out a robust foundation for peace efforts. We must maintain the momentum in the reconciliation process to help bring about lasting peace to Afghanistan.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we pass through this defining period in our history, we recognize that concluding our electoral process successfully and achieving a peaceful and democratic transition of power will be the litmus test of our young democracy. We are very proud that the work of the IEC and IECC in successfully implementing a democratic and legitimate electoral process thus far and are sure in our belief that they will be just as successful for the run-off in June. I am also optimistic that the Afghan people will once again rise to the occasion and take bolder steps in attaining a future of peace and prosperity by going out to vote in the run-off.

We are grateful to have you all as our committed and steadfast partners and are confident you will support us through this second round of the elections in determining Afghanistan’s new leadership.

Thank you.