European Union Election Observation
Mission to Afghanistan 2005
ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION RELEASES FINAL REPORT ON RECENT AFGHAN
Emma Bonino, Chief Observer of the EU
Election Observation Mission (EOM) and Member of the European
Parliament, today presented the final report on the 18 September 2005
Afghan Parliamentary and Provincial Elections.
Speaking at the press conference in Kabul, Ms Bonino said: “Overall,
given their complexity and operational challenges, the elections are
an accomplishment, although there were notable shortcomings to be
addressed for the future. Pre-election preparations were generally
good and voting on election day was largely peaceful. However,
post-election day developments revealed significant deficiencies that
should be honestly analysed and effectively addressed.”
The report contains detailed recommendations to help improve the
conduct of future elections. It recommends that the choice of voting
system should be reviewed, the Independent Election Commission (IEC)
should be made permanent, and the Electoral Complaints Commission
should be strengthened. It also recommends that voter lists should be
introduced at the polling station level, candidates should be provided
with better access to the mass media, civil society should be further
supported in voter education activities and efforts should be made to
improve the participation of women in the electoral process.
The EU EOM also examined longer-term democracy-building as an integral
part of Afghanistan’s future development. “Democracy is about more
than just elections, important as they are. Democracy is also about
society and civic culture,” commented Ms Bonino. In Afghanistan,
according to the EU EOM, a sustainable transition to democracy will
require particular attention in a number of areas, including
strengthening civil society; reinforcing the role of the media;
continuing improvement of the situation of women, especially in public
life; and enhancing national unity and reconciliation, and ending a
culture of impunity.
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to the
2005 Parliamentary and Provincial Elections in Afghanistan, headed by
Ms Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament, was deployed in
early July following an invitation issued by the Government of
Afghanistan and the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB).
The Mission remained in the country until the end of October in order
to observe counting, tabulation and the complaints adjudication
process. During this period, the EU EOM observed the electoral process
in 29 of the 34 Provinces of Afghanistan. On Election Day itself, the
mission was able to draw on the findings of a total of 159 observers
in over 1,100 polling stations, making it the largest, most
comprehensive international observation mission at these elections.
The EU EOM released a Statement of Preliminary Findings and
Conclusions on 19 September 2005.