The election commission in Afghanistan sought an apology from the public over persistent delays in the announcement of the presidential election results.
The head of the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), Hava Alam Nuristani, told a press conference Saturday that technical glitches and careful efforts to ensure transparency are behind the delay.
“The election commission seeks apology from the people of Afghanistan and parties involved in the elections over delay in announcement of the preliminary results,” she said.
Afghans voted on Sept. 28 despite Taliban threats and violence. However, the polling was marred by widespread misconduct and accusations of fraud, as well as controversy over an apparently low voter turnout on election day.
Just two days after the election and before all votes had even arrived in Kabul for counting, the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory in a move that international and local observers panned as premature.
Election officials have called on candidates to show restraint and wait for the preliminary results in a bid to avoid a repeat of 2014. That year’s election was marred by dueling claims of victory and fraud by Abdullah and the incumbent President Ashraf Ghani.
The IEC’s initial timetable called for final results on Nov. 7, after which a second electoral round would be held within two weeks if necessary.