Strengthen the accuracy and reliability of voter registration. The creation of a reliableand accurate voter system is crucial to ensure universal and equal suffrage and tosafeguard against fraud. According to theNational Democratic Institute (NDI), in
preparations for the 2009 elections, the UN spent over USD 100 million to improve voterregistration, but it appeared that, for example, some candidates paid women inparticular, to obtain multiple voter cards because no photo is required for the femalecard. The EU-EOM also reported that updating voter registration in 2009 resulted in the
issuance of some 4.7 million additional voter cards, which together with the previous12.5 million meant that well over 17 million voter cards were in circulation. Of these,several millions are likely to have been duplicates. A biometrics-based mechanism todetect multiple registrations was put in place to prevent this occurrence. However, theIEC did not manage to complete the database before the elections, but it wasnevertheless already helpful in identifying duplicates.
To re-establish the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) in preparation for the 2010elections and make it a permanent body. In 2009, the ECC was a temporary body set upto deal with electoral offences, complaints and challenges.
It was composed of fivemembers, three internationals appointed by the United Nations Special Representativeof the Secretary General in Afghanistan and two Afghans appointed by the SupremeCourt and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The ECCplayed an important role in the 2009 elections as it invalidated almost a quarter of thevotes and received a total of 2,639 complaints
arising directly out of polling andcounting, as well as complaints or appeals against the preliminary results, once thesewere released by the IEC.
In light of the upcoming parliamentary election, the Afghan government, President HamidKarzai and the IEC have been addressing some of the shortcomings from the previous electionsto ensure free and fair elections in 2010, but many questions remain if that will be sufficient toprevent massive fraud.Following the disastrous elections in 2009, President Hamid Karzai appointed, in April 2010, anew Chairperson to lead the work of the IEC
. Even if the chair of the IEC is still solelyappointed by the President, the new Chair,Fazel Ahmad Manavi is seen as being more
Article 57.2 of the 2005 Electoral Law stipulates that the ECC should discontinue its work 30 days after the
certification of the results.
Complaints included: allegations of ballots stuffing, poor quality ink, malfunctioning of the voter card puncher,intimidation of voters, obstruction of candidates, agents and observers and accusations of fraud committed bypolling staff or local authorities as well as immense discrepancies between the low participation on election dayand the number of votes recorded in the results forms.