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Cablegate: Afghan Elections Situation Report Eleven - 0800 Local,

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #2455/01 2330314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210314Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0989
INFO RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 7826
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3831
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS KABUL 002455

DEPT FOR AFGHAN ELECTIONS TASK FORCE

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM AF

SUBJECT: Afghan Elections Situation Report Eleven - 0800 Local,
August 21, 2009

1. (SBU) The next sitrep is scheduled for 1200 local on August 21.


------------
Atmospherics
------------

2. (U) Afghans are now in the phase of vote counting, retrieval, and
transport. The atmosphere in Kabul and elsewhere remained calm and
quiet overnight. PRTs are paying particular attention to the
transport process and will report abnormalities in the following
sitreps.

RC South:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC-East:

-- RC-East reported this morning that in Wardak and Logar, two air
recon trips were carried out on August 20, one in the early morning
and another in the mid-afternoon. There was very little activity on
the roads. The primary mode of transport used by the population was
bicycle or on foot. Barely any cars were seen throughout both
provinces. No lines or crowds were seen at any polling centers. It
was eerily quiet.

RC North:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC West:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC Central:

-- Nothing new to report.

-------------
Voter Turnout
-------------

3. (U) Provincial reports by region follow:

RC South:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC East:

-- The highest turnout was in Khost City, Gardez, Zormat (Paktya),
Sharana, Bermel and Khayr Khot (in Paktika), according to initial
reports. Given the insurgent attacks on the morning of August 20
in Naka district center and Combat Outpost Zirok, turnout in Naka,
Zirok and Gerda Serai (Haqqani's home district) was higher than
expected, perhaps due to recent increases in the number of ANSF
stationed in those areas. Female voters also defied predictions by
coming out to vote in respectable numbers in Khost City, Orgun,
Sharana, Terwa and Waza Khwa.

-- The assessment is that 37 percent of the population in Wardak and
26 percent of the population in Logar participated in the election.
There was poor voter turnout in Sayed Abad, Chakh, Jaghato, and
Nerkh for Wardak province. In Logar there was a poor turnout in
Baraki Barak at only five percent. On the positive side in Wardak,
the districts with highest turn out were Jalrez and the two
Beshood's reported in at 90 percent and Mayden Shah reported in at
80 percent. In Logar, voter turnout was highest in Mohammad Agha
and Khoshi districts, which reported in at 60 percent.

RC North:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC West:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC Central:

-- Nothing new to report.

---------
Security

---------

4. (SBU) ANSF and ISAF conducted security operations coordination
for the elections in an unprecedented manner. There were more
security incidents than on a typical day in Afghanistan, but the
people were allowed to vote. It will take approximately three days
to collect tally sheets from the Provincial level to transport back
to IEC Headquarters in Kabul. The emphasis by security forces is on
the retrieval of ballots and making sure they are secured in
Provincial warehouses through appropriated chain of custody. It was
suggested that QRF forces stay in place until ballots are safely
secured. Admiral Borsboom reiterated that air request to move
ballots and election material is initiated by the IEC as a request
to UNAMA. If UNAMA cannot fulfill the air transport request, then
if falls on the shoulders of ANA. If ANA can not conduct air
transport, then ISAF forces would pick up the request. All
available air assets were used by ISAF and ANSF forces on Election
Day. The ISAF Elections Task Force will have a meeting at 2000 on
Friday to discuss the post-election period and to conduct
contingency planning for the possibility of a runoff election.

5. (U) Provincial reports by region follow:

RC South:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC East:

-- Predictions of a high number of suicide bombers in the AO did not
prove accurate; only two reportedly detonated, in Gardez, causing
only their own deaths.

-- In Logar and Wadak, there were a total of 48 security incidents,
many of which had multiple contacts within them. There were 19
accounts that were election based.


RC North:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC West:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC Central:

-- Nothing new to report.

----------------------------
Voting & Counting Activities
----------------------------

6. (U) Provincial reports by region follow:

RC South:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC East:

-- In Jaji Ayroub, Paktya ballot, counting was reported completed by
2000 on August 20.

-- In Logar and Wardak there were a total of 142 sites that were
opened, with 132 actually used. Thirteen were abandoned by IEC or
ANA. Three were abandoned on the evening of August 19 by IEC
because the polling sites were in areas that had heavy contact the
night before. However, they were reopened by 1000 on August 20.
The majority of the polling sites were closed by 1600, with a few
outliers in both provinces remaining open until 1700. The IEC
confirmed all were closed at 1700.
RC North:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC West:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC Central:

-- Nothing new to report.


-----
Fraud
-----

7. (U) Provincial reports by region follow:
RC South:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC East:

-- In Wardak and Logar, the turnout was generally lower than
expected. There were at least two reported instances of voter fraud.
According to an NDS report, the Charkh sub-governor in Logar was
witnessed stuffing ballots at two polling sites. Also, in Wardak,
officials in Nerkh requested extra ballots, even though they turn
out was very low (20 percent according to IEC estimates).

RC North:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC West:

-- Nothing new to report.

RC Central:

-- Nothing new to report.

--------------
Public Affairs
--------------

8. (U) AFGHAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
-- The leading story in the Afghan media was the continued coverage
of the yesterday's press conference by President Karzai and the
joint press conference by the IEC, MOD, MOI, and NDS.
--Afghan media widely reported on the reactions by the leaders of
the international community on the Afghan elections. President
Obama said that the Afghan presidential election appeared to have
been a success and that the United States will continue to monitor
the situation in Afghanistan. He added that the international
community must focus on finishing the job in Afghanistan, which is
going to take some time. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that
the Afghan people voted in the elections despite the threats by the
Taliban. Brown also said that this was the first time that
Afghanistan's elections were Afghan led. The French foreign
minister appreciated the courage and the determination of the people
of Afghanistan to vote in the elections. UNAMA described the
conduct of the presidential and provincial council elections as an
achievement of the Afghan people. NATO Secretary- General Anders
Fogh Rasmussen hailed the vote as a testimony to the determination
of the Afghan people to build democracy. UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon also issued a statement congratulating the women and men of
Afghanistan on the presidential and provincial council elections.
-- Radio BBC reported that presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani
Ahmadzai said that there were signs of fraud in Kandahar and there
were also signs of use of force by specific candidates' agents to
exert pressure on the local people to vote for a specific candidate
in northern Afghanistan.
-- BBC: the IEC stated that the primary results of the elections
will be announced in 12 days and the final results will be announced
in four weeks.
-- Pajhwok News Agency reported that 10 people were arrested on
charges of distributing night letters in Paktia province.
-- BBC radio interviewed General Petraeus in which he said that
negotiations with the local insurgents should take place in
Afghanistan and that high-ranking Taliban leaders such as Mullah
Omar cannot be part of the negotiations. He also said that there
should be more focus on good governance in Afghanistan.
-- Pajhwok News Agency reported that unofficial results indicate
President Hamid Karzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah dominated the vote
in Kabul and are virtually tied in a dozen or so polling station
counts.
-- Pajhwok News Agency reported that more than 1,341 prisoners,
including 17 women, cast their votes in the presidential elections
in Kabul, Khost and Parwan provinces on Thursday.
-- Radio Salam Watandar reported that three employees of the IEC
were fired from their posts due to fraud and alleged violations of
regulations seen in their performance in Balkh province.
9. (SBU) Messaging remains consistent with 8pm Afghan Elections
Situation Report eight. We will review and update as necessary for
the next report.

EIKENBERRY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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