Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Why the Afghan Leaders Shall Avoid Premature Judgments on Election Results

According to the Afghanistan Electoral Law, Only the Afghan Independent Election Commission has the authority to announce the results:  partial, preliminary, and final. However, it is a common issue in the country that the Afghan politicians and their supporters generally publish premature results and judge prematurely on election results. As a result, it has changed to a serious political issue in the country. The new wave of publishing premature results and resorting to premature judgments on presidential elections is not something new; therefore, we shall assess why this trend continues in Afghanistan? What causes the Afghan leaders to do so? And how we can prevent it?
If we look at the previous elections process, accusing the winner team to electoral fraud has been one of the strategic approaches of the loser teams. They have applied this strategy for several reasons that we would mention them here; first, announcing premature results as a tool to mislead the public. When the loser teams concludes that they have no chance to win the elections, they announce premature results and judge prematurely on election results to incite ethnic, language and religious tensions. As Afghanistan is a traditional society and the literacy rate is very low, many Afghan politicians play with emotions of the people. This strategy has worked in the previous elections and the losing teams could have achieved good results by applying them. Second, fearing the electoral bodies may change the electoral results in the interest of particular candidates. Afghan electoral bodies are new and they have weak capacity. These institutions have not performed very well in the previous elections. For example, these electoral bodies could not announce the parliamentary election results for 7 months. When they announced the parliamentary results, the results were full of controversies showing the large fraud in the results. Considering this, it looks rational to some extent that the presidential candidates and their supports to be worried about their votes.
Consequences of Premature Judgments on Election Results
Premature claims about the election process damage the trust of the public. Although, Afghan electoral bodies have weak capacity and have performed poorly in the past, but we shall try to support these institutions to win the public trust. We shall consider this approach as a process that can ensure elections with less fraud and political tensions in the future. From one hand, Afghan politicians shall have enough electoral observers during the elections in order to prevent electoral fraud; on the other hand, they shall take all the necessary measure to boost the prestige of the electoral institutions to be trusted by the people. At the same time, when the election results are announced, if they have any complains, they can complain to the Independent Electoral Complains Commission.
Premature Judgments on Election Results is a serious political issue in Afghanistan. It has serious negative consequences for democracy and democratic institutions. We urge all the presidential candidates to give time to the Independent Electoral Commission to announce the results and avoid any premature judgments on election results.