The top United Nations diplomat in Afghanistan said on Sunday it was too early to describe the country's parliamentary elections as a success, with an expectation to receive 4,000 complaints and participation rates are not established yet.
Afghan election officials cataloged the outcome of Saturday as a success despite the widespread reports of fraud, the worrying low turnout and attacks across the country that left at least 17 killed after the Taliban warned that sabotaged the election.
"I think that's premature, with all due respect," said Staffan de Mistura, special representative of UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon said in an interview with Reuters.
"They did a great job (...) But I expect to talk about success," in Kabul.
Election officials pored over the vote on Sunday but there will be a long wait before being declared the preliminary results, with ballots to arrive from remote areas and thousands of complaints to be filed by losing candidates.
The choice is closely watched in Washington before the planned review of military strategy in December U.S. President, Barack Obama, who may examine the pace and scale of U.S. troop withdrawals after nine years of war.
A flawed election of Obama would weigh the government, which faces its own legislative elections in November amid a drop in public support for the war, while violence is at its worst level since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.
Some areas have begun to send the revised ballot boxes to Kabul, said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC, for its acronym in English) to Reuters, but early indications are that were issued at least one million fewer votes than in the last year's presidential election.
The IEC said on Saturday that the number of Afghans who came to vote was close to 3.6 million, although de Mistura said the final figure is likely to skirt the 4 million.
The commission said it had 11.4 million voters, but de Mistura said that number represented only the number of ballots sent to the polls and the actual number was probably closer to 10.5 million.
Taliban threatened twice to boycott the election and warned voters to stay away. His threat appeared to have impact on participation, with many nerve remained in their houses after the Islamists launched hundreds of attacks across the country.
The bodies of three abducted election officials were found during the vote on Sunday in the northern province of Balkh, said the president of the IEC, Fazl Ahmad Manawi.
The violence was slightly lower than that recorded in last year's elections, but was more widespread, reaching previously peaceful areas.
The deception was also a great concern, with reports of ballot stuffing, repeat voting, vote buying and other illegal acts in the country.