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How to Rig an Election: A Study of Electoral Manipulation in Afghanistan
 

How to Rig an Election: A Study of Electoral Manipulation in Afghanistan

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A provocatively titled presentation that analyses how Hamid Karzai managed to manipulate the 2009 Afghan Presidential Election. Our econometric analysis shows districts with higher electoral ...

A provocatively titled presentation that analyses how Hamid Karzai managed to manipulate the 2009 Afghan Presidential Election. Our econometric analysis shows districts with higher electoral irregularities, including voter intimidation and lost votes and are strongly correlated with "support" for Karzai.

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  • Machine politics in the sense that “From 1994-2004 the Kuchma administration in the Ukraine was the dominant party thanks to a combination of patronage, favoritism, and intimidation which skew elections in its favor. Concerning point b): how to then monitor individuals’ vote? One way was to force many to use the “absentee ballot” and perhaps have their employer hand it in and collect it. Concerning c): Tax inspectors of fire inspectors or other executive branch authorities can inspect a firm and shut it down as they wish with almost no possibility to appeal. The complex Ukrainian Law makes perfect compliance impossible.

How to Rig an Election: A Study of Electoral Manipulation in Afghanistan How to Rig an Election: A Study of Electoral Manipulation in Afghanistan Presentation Transcript

  • How to Rig an Election A Study of Electoral Manipulation in Afghanistan Stephane Amoyel, Alexander Buchvald, Michael Donnelly, Jonathon Flegg, Shakira Mustapha, Alessio Terzi
  • Outline
    • Introduction:
    • (i) Defining Electoral Manipulation
    • (ii) Incentives for Electoral Manipulation
    • (iii) Methods of Electoral Manipulation
    • Case Studies: Venezuela, Mexico, Ukraine
    • Afghanistan:
    • (i) Key Actors
    • (ii) 2009 Presidential Elections
    • (iii) Evidence for Electoral Manipulation
    • (iv) What Karzai Should Have Done
  • Schedler’s “elections without democracy”* All are necessary but not sufficient for democracy. # Elections can be a means to either democracy or authoritarianism. * Schedler 2002a; # Dahl 1971 Response to citizens’ preferences Opportunities to formulate preferences Signify preferences to each other and to the government Equally weighted preferences in decision-making
  • Defining Electoral Manipulation Clandestine and illegal efforts to shape election results that can occur at different stages of electoral process, from the passage of the favourable electoral legislation to the adjudication of complaints lodged against the election commission. violation of the law to effect electoral outcomes Lehoucq (2003) introduction of bias into the administration of elections Schedler (2002b)
  • Engineering Elections* Restricting Choice Influencing Preferences Weighting of Preferences Legitimisation * Schedler 2002a; Lehoucq 2003
    • Reserved offices positions
    • Exclusion of opposition
    • Fragmentation of opposition
    • Candidate registration difficulties
    • Violence and intimidation
    • Restricting the franchise
    • Control of media
    • Patronage
    • - Cash or ‘in- kind’ payments
    • Corruption
    • Use of state resources
    • Coercion on election day
    • Electoral rules
    • Registration of voters
    • - Harder for opposition
    • Fake voters
    • ‘ Stuffing’ or destroying ballots
    • Voting multiple times
    • Changing vote results
    • Control of electoral commission
    • Illegitimate election monitors
    • Lack of transparency in results
  • Incentives for Electoral Manipulation Office-seeking Minimise uncertainty of outcomes Satisfy international pressures for democratisation Policy-seeking Strong mandate to implement preferred policy
  • Succeeding in Manipulating Elections Strength of democratic history and societal norms Level of civil society development Degree of international monitoring Vulnerability to clientelist or machine politics
      • Distrust in electoral process
      • Costs and penalties for fraud : eg New EU MS
    High social disparities Loss of traditional authority mechanisms Social and political fragmentation
  • Outline
    • Introduction:
    • (i) Defining Electoral Manipulation
    • (ii) Incentives for Electoral Manipulation
    • (iii) Methods of Electoral Manipulation
    • Case Studies: Venezuela, Mexico, Ukraine
    • Afghanistan:
    • (i) Key Actors
    • (ii) 2009 Presidential Elections
    • (iii) Evidence for Electoral Manipulation
    • (iv) What Karzai Should Have Done
  • Ukraine: 2004 Presidential Election Electoral System: 2 Round Run-off Ukraine characterised by ‘machine politics’ and de facto authoritarianism. Types of Electoral Manipulation: (i) Gain control of the Media through intimidation (ii) Patronage through exchange of public jobs for votes (iii) Selective law enforcement threats of firms (iv) Soldiers bussed to vote in swing districts (v) Presenting dummy candidates to dilute the representation of the real opposition party on the election committee Why it was not successful: The candidate was too unpopular Fraud was carried out in a transparent way moving from ‘machine politics’ to full authoritarianism Emergence of civil society Division among elite Army maintained neutrality
  • Venezuela: 2006 Presidential Election Electoral System: FPTP “ Free, if not entirely fair.” Types of Electoral Manipulation: (i) Biased media coverage. State-owned television awarded 86% of its coverage to Chavez, while Rosales, his main opponent, received only 14%. (ii) Coercion of public officials. (iii) ‘In kind’ resources distributed for electoral patronage in the poorest areas. (iv) Constitutional Amendment. For example, in 1999 extending presidential terms from 5 to 6 years and subject to a limit of two terms. [?] How it was successful: “ Independent” National Electoral Council still under government influence. Public perceptions (that is, disillusionment with traditionally dominant parties and democracy of the past). Widespread poverty in urban areas. Balanced by attempts to make the electoral process appear more transparent. For example, election of polling station staff through a public lottery.
  • Mexico: Presidential Elections 1930-90 Electoral System: FPTP and no reelection PRI, Mexico's preeminent political organization from 1929 until the early 1990s, second only to the President. Types of Electoral Manipulation: Patronage through attempts to: (i) Integrate large sections of the population into the party (middle class, peasants and workers) (ii) Discourage the formation of opposition parties. “ For nearly five decades, there were few episodes of large-scale organized violence and no revolutionary movements that enjoyed widespread support...”* How it was successful: Vote buying is socially-acceptable. Rule of no reelection weakened accountability. Traditional horizontal class- or interest-based political alliances actively discouraged. * Miró 1996
  • Outline
    • Introduction:
    • (i) Defining Electoral Manipulation
    • (ii) Incentives for Electoral Manipulation
    • (iii) Methods of Electoral Manipulation
    • Case Studies: Venezuela, Mexico, Ukraine
    • Afghanistan:
    • (i) Key Actors
    • (ii) 2009 Presidential Elections
    • (iii) Evidence for Electoral Manipulation
    • (iv) What Karzai Should Have Done
  • 2009 Afghan Presidential Elections
    • 2 Round Run off
    • 50% Threshold
    • Simple SMD-style popular election
    • Key Actors
      • Candidates
      • Ethnic Groups
      • External Actors
      • Bureaucracy
  • Key Actors: Candidates
    • Hamid Karzai
    • Pashtun
    • President 2001-
    Abdullah Abdullah Tajik Foreign Minister 2001- Ramazan Bashardost Hazara National Assembly 2006- Pre-Election Poll: 44% -Karzai 26%-Abdullah 10%-Bashardost
    • Hamid Karzai
    • Pashtun
    • President 2001-
    • Incumbent President
    • Won first Afghan presidential election in 2004 with 55% of the vote
    • Relatively well-connected
    • Broad base of support
    • Preferences:
      • Office-seeking
      • International Legitimacy
    Key Actors: Candidates
  • Abdullah Abdullah Tajik Foreign Minister 2001-
    • Second major presidential candidate
    • Modeled as office-seeking
    • Former World Bank Economist
    • Well-connected, but his support is largely limited to northern Afghanistan
    Key Actors: Candidates
  • Ramazan Bashardost Hazara National Assembly 2006-
    • Third major candidate
    • Populist strategy
    • Potential ‘spoiler’
    • Support mainly limited to Kabul and central Afghanistan
    • Campaigns from a tent in Kabul
    Key Actors: Candidates
  • Key Actors: Ethnic Groups
    • Afghanistan is quite ethnically fragmented.
    • Pashtun 40.9%
    • Tajik 37.1%
    • Hazara 9.2%
    • Uzbek 9.2%
    • Other 3.6%
    Ethnic groups in Afghanistan largely act like voting blocs. In free and fair elections, we would expect rent-seeking behavior of these groups. Deviation from past uniform behavior may be evidence for vote manipulation. Modelled as rent-seeking, unitary actors.
  • 2009 Election Results Maps compiled using data from National Democratic Institute (http://afghanistanelectiondata.org/)
  • 2009 Election Results with Ethnicity Maps compiled using data from National Democratic Institute (http://afghanistanelectiondata.org/)
  • Key Actors: External Bodies United Nations NATO ie. US and allies Ascribed Preferences: 1. Independent, self-administered Afghanistan 2. Democratic government in Afghanistan
  • Key Actors: Bureaucracy Independent Election Commission Karzai US & Allies Electoral Complaints Commission Structure of bureaucracy was determined through negotiation between Karzai and external actors. Green: aligned with Karzai Blue: altruistic, aligned with external actors
  • Key Actors: Bureaucracy
    • Independent Election Commission
      • Not independent
      • Appointed by Karzai
      • Planned and executed election
    • Election Complaints Commission
      • Minority appointed by Karzai
      • Majority appointed by External Actors
      • Responded to complaints during and after election
      • IEC must respond to ECC findings, but ECC can only act after corruption has occurred
  • Key Actors: Analysis
    • Since ECC could only effect electoral process after an election, Karzai’s best chance of vote manipulation was in the first round.
    • Karzai could effectively play the dichotomous preferences of the external actors to a strong position in election planning.
    • Bottom Line: The electoral system’s structure and political context predictably allowed for manipulation of the 2009 Presidential election.
  • So How was the August 2009 Afghan Presidential Election Rigged?
  • Engineering Elections* Restricting Choice Influencing Preferences Weighting of Preferences Legitimisation * Schedler 2002a; Lehoucq 2003 In Afghanistan, August 2009 c
    • Reserved offices positions
    • Exclusion of opposition
    • Fragmentation of opposition
    • Candidate registration difficulties
    • Violence and intimidation
    • Restricting the franchise
    • Control of media
    • Patronage
    • - Cash or ‘in- kind’ payments
    • Corruption
    • Use of state resources
    • Coercion on election day
    • Electoral rules
    • Registration of voters
    • - Harder for opposition
    • Fake voters
    • ‘ Stuffing’ or destroying ballots
    • Voting multiple times
    • Changing vote results
    • Control of electoral commission
    • Illegitimate election monitors
    • Lack of transparency in results
  • What Happened?
    • High levels of insecurity
      • Few female election officials
    • Ghost Polling Stations
    • Voter Interference by IEC officials
    • Intimidation by candidate agents
    • Ballot box stuffing
    • Ethnic Group buy-offs
  • Election Manipulation: Ballot Box Stuffing                                                                                                                                                          SOURCE: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan; Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan | The Washington Post - October 7, 2009
  • 2009 First Round Election Results Karzai 3,093,256 54.6% Abdullah 1,571,581 27.8% Bashardost 520,627 9.2% Others 477,294 8.4% Total 5,662,758 Western Powers heavily pressure the ECC to investigate and overturn these results.
  • 2009 First Round of Voting after ECC Statistical Audit
    • Karzai 2,283,907 49.67%
    • Abdullah 1,406,242 30.59%
    • Bashardost 481,072 10.46%
    • Others 426,506 9.28%
    • Invalid 225,363
    • Turn-out 4,823,090
    • Bottom Line:
    • Karzai is caught manipulating the election; is forced into a second round.
    • External Actors are embarrassed as they are perceived by Afghans to have been involved in planning fraudulent elections
  • Data
    • Three data sets with observations for 388 voting districts.
      • Pre-election poll by International Republican Institute (3-16 May 2009)
      • Election results at district level by National Democratic Institute
      • Electoral Complaints Commision’s assesment of election
  • Econometric specification
    • Basic model: Y i = β 0 + β 1 D i + u
    • D = 1 if Karzai district and 0 otherwise.
    • Definition of Karzai district:
      • Karzai’s support > 50% of voters. (Support is both measured as ‘polled vote share’ and ‘counted vote share’)
    • Dependent variables:
      • Turnout – proxy: total votes/population
      • Threat level – assessment by ANSF on a 1-4 scale
      • Access allegations – # of incidents reported to ECC
      • Undue influence – # of incidents reported to ECC
      • High priority allegations – # of incidents reported to ECC
      • Polling irregularity – # of incidents reported to ECC
      • Counting irregularity – # of incidents reported to ECC
      • Missing Materials – # of incidents reported to ECC
    Null Hypothesis: β 1 = 0 -> no systematic differences between Karzai districts and other districts
  • Results
  • Analysis
      • Higher turnout
      • Fewer cases of intimidation and undue influence
      • Fewer lost votes and missing materials
      • More cases of polling irregularities
      • More high priority allegations
      • Higher threat levels
      • More access problems
      • Fewer counting irregularities
    • Validity:
      • Omitted variables – education, socio economic factors, ethnicity
      • Measurement errors – data is probably bias to Karzai’s favour
    In comparison with other districts, Karzai districts have: support rigging in Karzai’s favour support rigging in Karzai’s disfavour
  • Conclusion: How to better rig the Afghan Elections Recommendations to Karzai
    • Easier to implement recommendations
    • Pre-election engineering
      • Increase access problems to opponents’ districts (placement of district, confusing directions)
      • Increase obstacles to voter registration
      • Encourage # of candidates in opponents’ tribal areas; reduce # of candidates in your own
    • Election Day manipulation
      • No ‘ghost districts’
      • Votes in same handwriting
      • Swamp ECC with false complaints
        • There were only 2,000 complaints
    • Harder to implement recommendations
    • Pre-election engineering
      • Change the election to a one-round FPTP
    • Election Day manipulation
      • Distract/Manipulate the monitors
      • Reduce the threat level to your own districts
      • To reduce the chance of being caught, standardize the level counting irregularities across the country
    Conclusion: How to better rig the Afghan Elections Recommendations to Karzai
  • Bibliography
    • Asia Foundation 2006. A Survey of the Afghan People: Afghanistan in 2006. http://www.asiafoundation.org/pdf/AG-survey06.pdf .
    • BBC 3 Nov. 2009. Q&A: Afghan Election. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8179845.stm
    • Birch, S. 2007. Electoral Systems and Electoral Misconduct, Comparative Political Studies , 40(12): 1533–56.
    • Dahl, R. A. 1971. Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition . New Haven: Yale University Press.
    • D’Anieri, P. 2005. “The Last Hurrah: the 2004 Ukrainian Presidential Elections and the Limits of Machine Politics”, Communist and Postcommunist Studies 38: 231–49.
    • Dominguez, J. I. &
    • Shifter, M. (eds.) 2008. Confronting Democratic Governance in Latin America, 3rd ed, The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore.
    • EU Election
    • Observation Mission 2006. Venezuela 2006 Presidential Elections Final Report . http://aceproject.org/regions-en/countries-and-territories/VE/reports/venezuela-2006-presidential-elections-final-report .
    • Galbraith, P. W. 4 Oct. 2009. What I Saw at the Afghan Election. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/02/AR2009100202855.html?sid=ST2009100603839
    • Int’l Crisis Group 27 Oct 2009. Conflict Risk Alert: After Afghanistan’s Fraudualent Elections. http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6358&l=1&m=1
    • Int’l Crisis Group 25 Nov. 2009. Afghanistan: Elections and the Crisis of Governance. http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6397&l=1
  • Lehoucq, F. E. 2003. “Electoral Fraud: Causes, Types and Consequences”. Annual Review of Political Science 6: 233-56. Merrill T. L. & Miró, R. (eds.) 1996 Mexico: A Country Study . Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Schedler, A. 2002a. “Elections Without Democracy: The Menu of Manipulation” Journal of Democracy 13(2). 2002b. “The Nested Game of Democratization by Elections”. International Political Science Review 23: 103-123. Scott, J. C. 1969. “Corruption, Machine Politics and Political Change”, American Political Science Review , 63: 1142–58. Tisdall, S. 1 Nov 2009, “The Afghan Election: A five-star Debacle.” Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/01/abdullah-withdrawal-afghanistan-election-clinton UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan 2009. AIHRC-UNAMA Joint Monitoring of Political Rights Presidential and Provincial Council Elections Third Report. http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWFiles2009.nsf/ FilesByRWDocUnidFilename/EGUA-7X3PBQfull_report.pdf/$File/full_report.pdf . Washington Post 7 Oct 2009. Discrepancies in Afghan Vote. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/10/07/GR2009100700038.html?sid=ST2009100603839 Wikipedia 2009. ‘Afghan Presidential Election, 2009’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_presidential _election,_2009