Afghanistan vote auditThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) said Wednesday that the vote audit for the presidential election will resume on Saturday.

A statement released by IEC said the audit will be resumed following a break for the Eid al-Fitr national holiday.

The statement further added that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has formally adopted criteria for the recount and invalidation of ballots, as part of its 100% audit of the run-off round of voting for the Presidential election.

“The adoption of the criteria is consistent with the laws of Afghanistan and the mandate of the IEC. The criteria are based on a proposal of the United Nations, finalized after extensive consultations with the campaign teams of both presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai,” the statement said.

IEC said the adoption of recount and invalidation criteria completes the regulatory framework for the audit and provides clarity, transparency, and consistency to this crucial process in which all ballot boxes from the run-off round of voting, held on June 14, will be physically audited at the IEC’s headquarters in Kabul.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomed the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) decision to adopt criteria for the invalidation and recount of ballots as part of the ongoing comprehensive audit of the results of the Presidential election run-off held on 14 June.

“This decision will ensure that the audit process will lead to the invalidation of fraudulent ballots while all valid votes will be counted, thus honouring the courage and determination of the Afghans who voted in both rounds of the Presidential election,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, who met with the IEC Board of Commissioners said.

“The IEC’s adoption of the criteria means that the regulatory framework for the Presidential audit is now complete,” added Mr. Kubiš. “It will help minimise the points of friction encountered in the audit so far. I encourage both campaigns to continue demonstrating the political will necessary to proceed expeditiously with the audit, without any interruption.”