Finally, after five months, the September Presidential elections results were announced Tuesday Feb 18, by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
Though this is the final announcement of this elections’ season in Afghanistan, but it is also the beginning of another controversial new season. While President Ashraf Ghani has celebrated his victory in the presidential election, Abdullah, by rejecting the results announced by the IEC, calls himself the real winner of the election.
Announcement of Final Results; Ashraf Ghani’s victory with 50.64%
In a solemn televised event, IEC head Hawa Alam Nuristani read out the results for the candidates as below;
“President Ashraf Ghani has the highest count with 50.64% of the total, at 923,592 votes and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has 39.52% of the total, with 720,841 votes.”
In the meantime, the final results of the election, according to the IEC, show that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had 3.85% of the total, with 70241 votes, Rahmatullah Nabil had 1.86% of the total, 33919 votes, Faramarz Tamana had 0.99% of the total, with 18063 votes, Sayed Nurullah Jalili had 0.85%, of the total 15519 votes, Abdul Latif Pedram had 0.69% of the total, with 12608 votes, Enayatullah Hafiz had 0.62% of the total with 11375 votes, Hakim Torsan had 0.36% of the total with 6500 votes, Ahmad Wali Masoud had 0.22% of the total with 3942 votes, Muhammad Shahab Hakimi had 0.18% of the total with 3318 votes, Ghulam Farooq Nejrabi had 0.09% of the total with 1606 votes, and Noor Rahman Liwal had 0.05% of the total with 855 votes.
Nuristani declared that, after addressing complaints and audits, 98 percent of polling stations had met the criteria and had been recognized as valid; the votes that the “Partnership and Stability” team considers illegal.
Ghani’s victory celebration after the announcement of results
President Ashraf Ghani appeared at a gathering of his supporters at the Presidential Palace almost three hours after the country’s electoral body announced his victory as president of Afghanistan for a second term.
He cited that his victory is not only the victory of an election team, but the victory of all Afghan nation.
“Now is the time for peace to reach Afghanistan’s cities, towns and villages,” he said.
“We want peace, a lasting peace and our team will bring peace to all of Afghanistan,” he added.
Ghani emphasized that he does not consider anyone as a rival, an enemy and an opponent, adding that the moment of rivalry is over and it is now the time to share and help the nation.
Abdullah’s Proclaiming Victory; forming an all-inclusive government
Hours after the announcement of the final results of the presidential election by IEC, Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive, announced the formation of an “inclusive government” by his Stability and Convergence campaign team, declaring his “victory” in the polls.
Abdullah at a gathering of his supporters said, “Decisions on disputed votes were “illegal. Today’s results were a coup against democracy and we do not accept them.”
“The Stability and Convergence team is the ‘winner of the election’ based on ‘clean votes’ and we announce our ‘victory,’” Abdullah said. “We announce the formation of an inclusive government.”
Dissatisfied Commissioner; final result contrary to election law
This comes as Mawlana Abdullah, one of the IEC commissioners who was not present at the announcement meeting, posted on his Facebook page that announcing the final results of the presidential election was in violation of the constitution, procedures and election law.
Regarding the decision of IEC, Mawlana Abdullah wrote: “Since the audit and recount process was in violation of the relevant law and procedure, therefore, this decision is contrary to Article 61 of the Constitution, Article 45 of the Electoral Code and Article 19 of the Electoral Adjustment Act.”
Taliban Reaction; contradictory to the content of the peace process
The Taliban, which is on the verge of signing a peace treaty with the United States, in a message also called the re-election of Ashraf Ghani illegal. The Taliban have called the result of the presidential election in contradiction with the content of the current peace process in the light of Afghanistan’s current sensitive situation.
The international community and Afghanistan’s strategic allies have not yet responded to the results of the presidential election, but their response will surely pave the way for a new season of election controversy.