The IEC looks at the protests as one of the fundamental rights of the citizens and deems it important for institutionalisation of democratic values. The IEC is mandated by the law to conduct general elections in the country and is committed to protecting the votes of people and compliance with the laws, regulations and procedures approved for elections.
Recognizing its mandate, the Commission was and is always ready to answer any legal and evidence-based objections and feels accountable before people and the law. As such, the Commission thanks all the protesters who peacefully called on the Commission, and highlights the following as an answer to their demands:
- The IEC protects the votes of people according to the law and the principle of independence and under no circumstances has ever given, and will never give, to any person, group or organization the right to interfere with the electoral process.
- The IEC carries out all the electoral processes according to the effective laws, regulations and procedures approved by the Commission.
- The Commission assures all the stakeholders especially the presidential candidates and the people of Afghanistan that only votes backed by biometrics will be validated.
Moreover, the Commission once again respects the peaceful protests of the citizens and thanks them for their patience and follow up of the electoral issues. In addition, the Commission demands all the stakeholders, politicians and especially the presidential candidates to support with the audit and recount of the remaining seven provinces and allow the Commission to fulfill its legal responsibilities according to the provisions of the law, and the approved procedures. Similarly, the Commission requests all the citizens of the country to, in addition to the patience they show towards announcement of the results support the Commission and enable us to complete the audit and recount process and announce the preliminary results of the September 28 elections as soon as possible.
It's worth mentioning that article 86 of the Election Law has mandated the Commission to "in presence of a justified complaint or clear signs of perpetration of violation or crime in relation to ballot boxes that contain ballot papers, quarantine such boxes and investigate them in presence of monitors, observers, media and candidate representatives". As such, the Commission can not invalidate votes before completion of investigations (audit and recount).