July 7, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the preliminary results of the country’s presidential election. According to the IEC’s chairman, Ashraf Ghani received 56.44 percent of the votes in the June 14 runoff; he had placed second during the first round of elections, with 31.56 percent. His opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, who fell just short of an outright majority in the first round with 45.00 percent, only received 43.56 percent in the runoff. The fact is that although the magnitude and scope of the fraud is unclear thus far, the integrity of the election has been tainted beyond repair. This has caused some, including Abdullah’s vice presidential running mate, Mohammad Mohaqiq, to describe the preliminary results as a “coup” against voters. Election observers have already noted that the number of votes cast in the runoff was not anywhere close to the 8.1 million quoted by the IEC; nor have they accepted the notion that 37.6 percent of that number reflects votes of women.
Afghanistan: Election officials admit voter fraud, delay results in presidential vote | Associated Press
Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has the lead in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election, according to a preliminary tally released Monday despite allegations of massive fraud. The announcement came as Ahmadzai is locked in a standoff with his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who has refused to accept any results until all fraudulent ballots are invalidated. The Independent Election Commission acknowledged that vote rigging had occurred and promised to launch a more extensive investigation before final results are released. ”We cannot ignore that there were technical problems and fraud that took place during the election process,” the commission’s chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani said. “We are not denying fraud in the election, some governors and Afghan government officials were involved in fraud.”
Preliminary results from Afghanistan’s presidential election, due to be announced on Wednesday, have been delayed, an election official said, amid accusations of fraud that threaten to split the fragile country along ethnic lines. Votes from around 2,000 polling stations in the June 14 run-off are to be reviewed and recounted, said Sharifa Zurmati Wardak of the Independent Election Commission (IEC). The contest pitted former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah against former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani. ”This will take nearly a week and the final result won’t be announced on time,” Wardak told Reuters.
Mauritania’s president accused the opposition on Tuesday of buying up people’s identity cards in an attempt to prevent them from voting in an upcoming election. President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, an ex-army general, is seeking re-election in the vote this Saturday, and rival politicians have called for voters to boycott what they call a “sham” election. The president’s spokesman said the government had received reports that the opposition was buying identity cards “to influence the participation rate”.
The Malawi president has called for an immediate manual audit of this week’s election results, alleging serious irregularities after the electoral commission reported its vote-tallying system had collapsed. ”It has come to my attention that there (are) some serious irregularities in the counting and announcement of results in some parts of the country,” Joyce Banda said. She said unofficial partial results revealed vote tallies that exceeded the total number of registered voters in some constituencies. Discarded and tampered ballots had also been discovered, said Banda, who faces her first electoral test since she succeeded Bingu wa Mutharika after his death two years ago.
Shortly before separatist leaders here declared a huge majority had voted in a referendum to break from Ukraine, their press spokeswoman had chortled at the idea that a result would be declared a mere three hours after polling stations closed. “Are you crazy? How would we have time to count the ballots?” said Claudia. Precisely, how indeed? But then despite a series of opinion polls over the past few weeks showing only a minority of eastern Ukrainians wanted to follow the example of the Black Sea peninsula and secede, the plebiscite in Donetsk—one of two of Ukraine’s easternmost regions voting Sunday—was always a foregone conclusion. The procedures in the plebiscite managed by Denis Pushilin, a former casino croupier who is the co-chairman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, followed the Kremlin’s house rules: the cynical strategies and plays of Russian-style “managed democracy,” not the electoral models outlined by organizations such as the United Nations or the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.
Ukraine’s government condemned referendums in eastern Ukraine as a “farce” on Monday, as separatists from the pro-Moscow regions declared independence and asked to join Russia. Organizers said 89 percent of those who cast ballots Sunday in the Donetsk region and about 96 percent of those who turned out in Luhansk voted for sovereignty for the sprawling areas that lie along Russia’s border and form Ukraine’s industrial heartland. Donetsk has about 4.4 million people, and Luhansk has 2.2 million. The results were seized upon by separatists who pushed for further autonomy from Kyiv and annexation by Russia. On Monday, the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) declared the region independent and signaled a desire to follow Crimea in being annexed by Moscow.
Solomon Islands’ Electoral Commission says a formal complaint must be made before there is any investigation into voter rigging. Solomon Islands’ Electoral Commission says a formal complaint must be made before there is any investigation into allegations of electoral fraud. Chief electoral officer, Polycarp Haununu, says the commission has not received a single report of vote rigging, despite widespread rumours voters are selling their identification cards in exchange for political support. ”Since the beginning of the registration, my office hasn’t received any formal complaints about buying of ID cards,” Mr Haununu told Pacific Beat.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine declared victory in a secession referendum Sunday, ratcheting up tensions between the West and Moscow, which by recognizing the results could push the country toward a breakup. Ukraine called the vote illegal and riddled with irregularities, and part of a wider campaign by Moscow to punish Kiev for pursuing closer relations with Europe. But Sunday’s vote saw long lines at some polling places and was immediately hailed as a triumph by separatist leaders and Russian state media. Kiev’s fledgling government is scrambling to mount presidential elections May 25, which it hopes will shore up its legitimacy, and faces growing hurdles after losing control of provinces in the east to pro-Russian rebels. Local police in the region are of dubious loyalty, and army units have stalled in their offensive against rebel strongholds.
Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine say preliminary results of a contentious referendum show nearly 90 per cent of voters have supported sovereignty for their region. Roman Lyagin, election chief of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic, said around 75 per cent of the region’s 3 million voters cast ballots Sunday. With no independent observers monitoring the vote, however, verifying the figures will prove problematic. Although the voting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions appeared mostly peaceful, armed men identified as members of the Ukrainian national guard opened fire on a crowd outside a town hall in Krasnoarmeisk, and an official with the region’s insurgents said people were killed. It was not clear how many. The bloodshed took place hours after dozens of armed men shut down the voting in the town, and it starkly showed the hair-trigger tensions in the east, where pro-Russian separatists have seized government buildings and clashed with Ukrainian forces over the past month.