UNESP-QPR1-2020

UNESP First Quarterly Progress Report 2020

May 30, 2020

The 2020 first quarterly progress report for the United Nations Development Programme United Nations Electoral Support Project (UNDP-UNESP) covers the period 1 January to 31 March 2020. The report is structured around the outputs outlined in the UNESP Project Document (Prodoc) of August 2019, no-cost extension for 2020 and corresponding Annual Work Plan (AWP) for 2020. UNDP-UNESP with funding from Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the European Union (EU), Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA) provided financial, operational, advisory and technical support to the two Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) of Afghanistan to achieve the following:
Adjudication of registered complaints against preliminary results: Following announcement of preliminary results by IEC on 22 December 2019, ECC initiated another complaints registration period and proceeded to register 16,738 complaints from 23 to 25 December at the ECC and provincial ECC offices (PECCs). The ECC and PECCs, with legal inputs from UNDP-UNESP, completed adjudication of the registered complaints within the legal timeline of 15 working days.
Appeals against decisions from adjudication of complaints against preliminary results: Following the prolonged process of notifying parties on decisions reached on registered complaints, ECC received appeals from 16 to 20 January. ECC received 6,377 appeals across 29 provinces. No appeal was filed in Parwan, Wardak, Takhar, Jawzjan and Badghis within the five-day period. The highest number of appeals were received Kandahar (1,573), Paktia (853), Nangarhar (818), Khost (772), Kabul (505), and Paktika (485) provinces. On 5 February, ECC announced seven decisions and shared a copy of the final decisions made on the appeal cases to the IEC for implementation.
IEC implements ECC decisions: The IEC Secretariat with technical inputs from UNDP-UNESP on the interpretation and implementation of ECC decisions conducted the special audit for two decisions on 15 and 16 February and recount of 298 polling stations (PSs) across nine provinces from 16 to 17 February. Then, from 17 to 18 February IEC, with technical inputs from UNDP-UNESP, the IEC processed audit and recount results at the National Tally Centre (NTC) paving the way for announcement of final results on 18 February.
Announcement of final results: On 18 February, IEC announced results. From the final results, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was declared the winner with 923,868 votes [50.64%]; Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with 720,990 votes [39.52%]; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar with 70,242 votes [3.85%] and Rahmatullah Nabil with 33,921 votes [1.86%]. On 9 March 2020, the incumbent President Ashraf Ghani was sworn in for a second term in office; Amrullah Saleh sworn in as First Vice President; Sarwar Danish sworn in as Second Vice President and by a presidential decree, Mohammad Yusuf Ghazanfar was also appointed a Special Envoy with a rank of Vice President. Second runner-up Dr. Abdullah Abdullah rejected the final results and held a swearing-in ceremony on the same day.
Challenges: Lessons learned exercises could not be rolled out at provincial level following the adoption of alternative work modalities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, UNDP-UNESP has been working with the EMBs to modify the methodology of gathering inputs on lessons from the 2019 Presidential election.
Looking Ahead: UNDP-UNESP will focus on the following in the next quarter: • providing additional inputs to proposed concepts for future election events [Ghazni Wolesi Jirga, District Council and Provincial Council elections]; • providing technical inputs to concept for voter registration; • providing technical support for the conducting of lessons learned exercises; • direct support to the Commissioners on election management; and • implementing identified training initiatives upon successful contracting of relevant training service providers.
Future electoral assistance support needs are yet to be finalized, and subject to recommendations of the Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) or Desk Review.

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