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Cablegate: Primer On Iec and Ecc Roles in Counting And

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #2596 2391603
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADA91690 UTS1178-695)
R 271603Z AUG 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1220
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KABUL 002596

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

2ND C O R R E C T E D COPY MISNUMBER PARAS

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO AID FOR ASIA/SCAA
USFOR-A FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PREL AF
SUBJECT: PRIMER ON IEC AND ECC ROLES IN COUNTING AND
REVIEW OF IRREGULARITIES

REF: KABUL

1. (SBU) The tally process is moving forward to the provisional
results stage and a formal complaints period. This is a primer on
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints
Commission (ECC) roles.

IEC Role
-------
2. Most tally sheets for both Presidential and Provincial Council
elections in tamper-evident bags (TEBs) have arrived at the
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) headquarters from provinces
around the country. By August 28, we expect over 90 percent of the
TEBs will be in Kabul. IEC officials in the Tally Center are
working around the clock to process the tally sheets, conduct
initial screening, and tally the results. The IEC has investigation
and audit teams reviewing results from polling centers that have
either sent in questionable TEBs or which have had past problems.
At this stage, the IEC may quarantine materials for further
investigation and/or disqualify ballots if it identifies fraud. The
entire process takes place in the presence of observers.

3. (SBU) After the day's preliminary results are entered at the
Tally Center in Kabul, they are approved by the IEC Board of
Commissioners and announced at the IEC Media Center on a cumulative
rolling basis as they are available and until the process is
complete. In addition, preliminary results should be posted on the
IEC website, and updated every 24 hours (Note: The IEC has been
slow to post information previously announced at its August 25 and
August 26 press conferences and has posted nothing following its
unexplained cancellation of today's press conference. End note.)

4. (SBU) The partial preliminary presidential election results
announced each day come from a variety of provinces, though by no
means a scientifically sampled cross-section. These partial results
are formatted for presentation by province and by candidate.
Provincial Council election preliminary results will be announced
when Provincial Council results for all polling stations in a
constituency have been approved by the IEC.
Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) Role
------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) All results are preliminary until the ECC completes
investigations and adjudicates each complaint. These continue to
arrive at the ECC headquarters in Kabul. A complaint must be filed
within 72 hours of the incident. The ECC has the authority to
exclude or include ballots in the count, sanction offenders, and
order re-polling of elections. All ECC decisions are final and it
has the authority to overrule the IEC.

6. (SBU) As reported in Kabul 2480, the ECC has emphasized that the
September 17 target date for IEC final certification of results is
not firm, as the ECC may need additional time to thoroughly
investigate and resolve complaints. The IEC can only certify and
announce final election results once the ECC has made a decision on
all complaints that are filed within the allowed time frame.

7. (SBU) Embassy Kabul's Elections Team is confident in the ECC's
technical aptitude and its ability to exercise its authority. The
Elections Team remains engaged with the ECC on a daily basis to
provide support as needed in a low-profile manner. Support may
include assistance with travel to provinces, prioritization of
complaints, and data collection and analysis.
Schedule
--------

8. (SBU) Approximate results announcement schedule:
-- Aug 25-Sep 3: Daily partial preliminary results reporting from
the IEC, until complete (Note: Today the IEC announced that no
press conferences will be held on August 27 or 28. End note).
-- Sept 17-23: Final certified results expected from the IEC,
dependent on completion of ECC work
-- Approximately Oct 10: Inauguration (if first round only)
EIKENBERRY

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