Nearly two months since the Afghan Parliamentary elections in September, the final election results have yet to be certified. Join USIP for a discussion of the unfolding election controversy, and what it means for the future legitimacy of the Afghan Parliament and the electoral process.
On October 20, the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) announced the full preliminary results of the September 18 Afghan Parliamentary elections, invalidating 1.2 million fraudulent votes in the process. This was initially seen as a positive sign that the IEC was taking a responsible stand against election fraud, but three weeks later the final results have still not been certified. Contributing to the uncertainty, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) removed several leading candidates for campaign misconduct, and supporters of unsuccessful candidates have resorted to protests and roadblocks in demands for more information.
Despite the appearance of improvements over the 2009 elections, the delay in final results is revealing these Parliamentary elections to have deep flaws. Please join USIP for a discussion of the recent controversy that has unfolded over the elections since the announcement of the preliminary results. The panel will explain those steps taken by the IEC and ECC to address widespread voting irregularities, and whether or not these steps are adequate to preserve the integrity of the Parliamentary vote.
- Scott Worden is a senior rule of law adviser at USIP and was in Kabul as an observer of the 2010 elections. He also served as one of three international commissioners on the Electoral Complaints Commission in 2009.
- Raissa Tatad-Harzell is the senior program manager for Afghanistan with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which ran an official observer mission to the 2010 elections and runs several programs on democratic and governance support to Afghanistan.
- Noah Coburn is a traditional dispute resolution specialist in USIP's Kabul Office, and has conducted research on local attitudes toward elections and democracy for the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).
- Andrew Wilder, moderator, is the director of Afghanistan and Pakistan programs at USIP, and has conducted extensive research on regional electoral politics.