Elections Observation Report 2014

On April 5th and June 14th, 2014, the people of Afghanistan, as their civic duty, twice went to ballot boxes to elect a new President and members of provincial council. The 2014 election was the third presidential and provincial council election after the fall of the Taliban regime and the formation of a new government.
The first round of 2014 presidential and provincial council elections was held simultaneously on April 5th throughout the country. From the eight candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with 45% and Dr. Ashraf Ghani with 32% votes went to a run-off. Dr. Zalmai Rasool and Abdurab Alrasool Sayaaf respectively came 3rd and 4th. The massive turnout at the ballot boxes in this first round indicated that elections, as a democratic process in the country, are gradually moving towards institutionalization and that the people’s appreciation of this process has dramatically improved.
With the announcement of the final result of the elections held on April 5th, it was evident that although the two leading candidates of this round, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani won significant amounts of the votes, they didn’t have the required majority to win. Therefore, they competed once again in the run-off that was held on the June 14th, 2014. The second round of elections in Afghanistan was an unprecedented event that people and responsible institutions did not have previous experience of. In the run-off, government officials and many other candidates announced their support for the two frontrunners candidates, gradually changing the dynamics of political rivalry between the two. According to the Constitution of Afghanistan, the term of office for the President is five years and for the provincial council it is four years. The provincial council elections of the years 2009 and 2014 were held together with the presidential elections; however, the one in 2006 was held with the parliamentary elections.

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