[JURIST] Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) [official website] on Sunday declared Ashraf Ghani [BBC profile] the winner of the country’s presidential election. The announcement came less than a day after the two candidates for the presidency, Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah [BBC profile] agreed [NYT report] to a deal that will divide power between the two candidates, giving the losing man a substantial say in the next regime. The announcement did not reveal the final election results as part of the deal reached between the two candidates, since Abdullah claimed that the election was substantially rigged against him. Commission Chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, who announced the election results, acknowledged that there were many issues with the June 14 election results and that an audit by the UN could not determine the entirety of the fraud committed.
The Afghan presidential election had been heavily contested after claims of fraud arose earlier this year. In July the EU called on [JURIST report] Afghanistan to conduct a more extensive investigation into vote-rigging in the presidential election. Observers involved with the EU specifically stated that other aspects of the election should be investigated, such as an uncharacteristically high number of votes for one candidate at certain polling locations. In June Abdullah announced [JURIST report] that he had suspended his campaign’s cooperation with the IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), 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 were 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.