Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 26th, 2019

The Consequences of Delay in Announcing Election Results

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The Consequences of Delay  in Announcing Election Results

More than three months have passed from the beginning of parliamentary elections but its results has not announced yet. According to the schedules, the Initial results of the parliamentary election were supposed be announced on 10th of November 2018 and its final results were supposed be announced on 20th of December 2018. The gradual announcement of election results might be a good tactic to prevent from a collective turbulence but practically it looks that the tricks are leading to a reverse outcomes. The public anger is reaching on its culmination steps and day to day become more dangerous. In the recent few days, a number of parliamentary candidates closed the four main routes to Kabul and prevented any entry and exit of citizens for several hours. From one hand, this caused a lot of problems for ordinary people and on the other hand, it was a warning to burst of social anger. Undoubtedly, this is the only a small part of the negative consequences emanated from the hesitation in announcing election results. There are many factors that can propel the issue to other angles and crisis.
In fact, there are a lot of true and untrue ideas and analyses about the delay in announcing the outcome of the election but most of them are baseless speculation and assumptions. But undoubtedly, this has many negative consequences for the country administrative, social and political processes. One of the most immediate and applicative consequences of the delay in announcing the outcome of the election is disruption to the next year elections. Next year we will have four simultaneous elections including presidential election, provincial council’s election, district council’s election and parliamentary elections in Ghazni province. Each of these elections is very important and vital to the stability and establishment of order in the country. 
Once, the presidential election has been delayed for three months which confronted many waves of criticisms. If it repeats again in the process of holding elections, the country will face many serious social and political crises.  Failure to hold presidential elections have far worse consequences than any other elections and no farther delay is acceptable for Afghan people. Thus, Provincial council elections are also important in their own place because with ending the previous round, local offices will remain without a supervisory authority and may face serious troubles. The election of district councils is also very important due to its political role and being effective for the remote areas of the country. Legally, One-third of the Meshrano Jirga members shall be elected from the members of the district councils, and some members of the Loya Jirga, if elected, shall also be elected from the members of the district councils. The Ghazni’s controversial elections are also held at this stage, which is very important in its place, especially if we look from the provincial perspectives.
Another negative consequence of delay in announcing results of the election is disturbance in the administrative and legal procedures of the country. However, the current parliament has gone to the winter vacation but if we cannot pave the way for presence of new members of parliament during this period, we will be faced with legislative gap. Many laws, regulations and national level decisions must be passed from the filter of parliament otherwise it may raise a lot of legal and political questions. 
The other negative and even more dangerous, consequence of delay in announcing election results would be the illusion of victory by some powerbrokers or those who are supported by them. As we know, in the last election, many of the powerful men and their supported members could not attract the votes of people. Nevertheless, they think that their votes have been stolen and a systematic fraud has taken place in the electoral process. As we saw in few past days, a number of protesters closed the four roads of Kabul and said whatever they wished to the government and the election commissions. While there were many people in the gathering whose votes were very low and never gained enough votes to be the winners of election process. However, it does not mean the election were fair and transparent but It means that delay of announcing election results, trouble the water for benefits of certain opportunists.
The most important and major negative consequence of delay in announcing election results is showing the weaknesses and inability of the commissions. The total function of the commissions, especially the poor performance in announcing the election results have caused that the credibility of Electoral commissions fall sharply. Therefore, the IEC extremely downgraded in the public opinion. Now, it is very difficult to restore confidence of the people in the elections with the same commission for holding the elections next year. Recently, the vice president of Afghanistan spoke of comprehensive reforms in the Afghan electoral commissions, saying that, due to widespread allegations, fraud, misconduct and corruption, not only damaged the credibility elections commissions but also damaged the prestige of government. As a senior government official, he reiterated that the work of the electoral commissions has become a tool for teasing and insulting of friends and enemies.
Warning the election commissions, the vice president stressed that the patience of the people has overflowed and no longer can tolerate the weaknesses and the inefficiencies. It is clear that the view of the vice president is not his sole personal opinion, and he, on behalf of the leadership of the Afghan government, has made it clear not only to the electoral commissions but also to the people of Afghanistan and the international community that the Government of Afghanistan is not satisfied with the current status of the commission. And there is need for fundamental changes in these two commissions. It seems that without fundamental changes in the structure of election commissions, it is not possible to hold four important elections next year.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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