[JURIST] The European Union (EU) [official website] on Thursday called on Afghanistan to conduct a more extensive investigation into vote-rigging in their presidential election. Observers involved with the EU specifically stated that other aspects of the election should be investigated, such an uncharacteristically high number of votes for one candidate at certain polling locations. Yesterday the Independent Election Commission (IEC) [official website] supervising the election postponed the release of the preliminary results of the election while it recounts votes from nearly 2,000 polling sites. Candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani both have claimed victory after the outcome of the June 14 run-off election. EU Election Assessment Team Chief Observer Thijs Berman told reporters [Reuters report], “If you would use these factors as well and investigate all polling stations … on the basis of these factors you may well end up concluding that over 6,000 polling stations in the country need a thorough investigation.”
In June Abdullah announced [JURIST report] that he has suspended his campaign’s cooperation with the IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) [official website], alleging fraud by the IEC. The IECC said last April that there have been more incidents of serious fraud reported in the April presidential election than the previous election in 2009, when more than a million suspect votes were thrown out. The April 5 election was praised [Reuters report] for its high voter turnout and the failure of Taliban [JURIST news archive] militants to stage attacks on election day. However, by mid-April, the IECC had recorded 3,724 complaints [JURIST report], 870 of which are classified as “Priority A” complaints considered serious enough to affect the outcome of the election. The previous 2009 election had a total of 3,072 complaints and 815 Priority A incidents.