U.S. Election Observation Mission to Afghanistan 2009 Presidential and Provincial Council Elections Report


July 31, 2010



Under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Democracy International organized an international election observation mission for the August elections in Afghanistan. The purpose of DI’s mission was to observe and report on the electoral process and, to the extent possible, evaluate the degree to which the elections conformed to international standards. In so doing, the mission would help promote good governance by strengthening democratic election systems and processes. The project complemented ongoing efforts supported by the U.S. government and others to help build a more participatory, representative, and accountable democracy in Afghanistan.

In early July DI began deploying staff members to Kabul to make logistical preparations for the mission. Long-term observers (LTOs) began arriving in Kabul in late July and were joined by short-term observers (STOs) for the week around Election Day. In total, DI recruited and deployed 62 experts and staff members to observe the August 20 elections. Members of that group included noted experts in election administration, election monitoring, and Afghan politics.

Following the declaration of a runoff election on November 7 between the top two presidential candidates, DI received additional funding from USAID to observe the runoff. DI recruited a 22- member delegation and had begun deploying observers to Kabul when the election was cancelled on November 2.

This report is based on information gathered through the ongoing work of Democracy International (DI) in support of Afghanistan’s democratic transition. It relies heavily on the findings of DI’s election observation delegation to the 2009 presidential and provincial council elections. It is also informed by DI’s ongoing effort to support election reform in Afghanistan.

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