Stations Opening, Officials Fired: Preparations for Round II Begin

 

 

Already pieces are beginning to move on both the technical and political side of the electoral process as Afghanistan begins to prepare for the upcoming run off.  If all the negotiations and pledges of support were not enough to keep voters busy as they try to figure out whether Ashraf Ghani can muster the 14% of votes necessary to make up the distance between himself and frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah, the Independent Election Commission announced several changes recently that could re-figure some calculations.  First they announced the opening of an additional 4,000 polling stations in part to make up for the shortage of ballots in the first round (for more see this TOLO news story).  This leaves candidates trying to calculate whether these opening will increase their numbers depending upon where they are located and the distribution of their supporters.Election Day 142

Simultaneously, the IEC has announced the firing of 3,000 of polling station monitors based on a variety of accusations of corruption and fraud (see the TOLO report here).  It remains to be seen whether these monitors come from one campaign more than others and whether this will raise other issues of monitoring in the second round.

 

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