Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Political Parties’ Observers Demand Reelections in Kabul

Political Parties’ Observers Demand Reelections in Kabul

KABUL - Political parties’ election observers on Saturday said they would soon share ‘evidence’ about widespread fraud in the October Wolesi Jirga elections in Kabul’s constituencies, calling for reelections in the central province.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on December 6 declared all votes cast in Kabul in the Oct parliamentary polls as invalid, pending investigation into alleged fraud and rigging.
After the IECC announcement, the government asked the electoral bodies to recount Kabul’s votes – a process still ongoing
Election observers of political parties addressed a joint press conference in Kabul about the IECC’s invalidation of all Kabul votes.
Saif Rahman Jabarkhel, who represented the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami of Afghanistan (HIA), told the press conference that above 100 political parties observers had been part of monitoring the audit of votes cast in Kabul and they had found ‘huge fraud’ in the process.
“We observed that dozens of electoral books in which votes were registered had been lost and eight biometric machines had disappeared, result papers were tampered with and sons of lawmakers and their representatives sold and bought votes in complicity of commission officials.”
He said the observers had identified 94 employees of the election commission who worked in favor of some candidates but they were freed by the IEC against guarantees.
He said during their observation they found that the election commission had approved non-biometric votes from some already ‘opened’ ballot boxes and even confirmed 500 non-biometric votes for a single candidate.
Bas Gul, a preventative of the Afghanistan Devolvement Party, confirmed Jabarkhel’s claims, and said their findings showed the electoral bodies had sold votes and edited result papers for some candidates.
She said political parties’ observers were agreed with the IECC’s decision to invalidate all Kabul votes.
A number of other political parties representatives expressed similar views and stressed over invalidation of all Kabul votes.
Sayed Hafizullah Hashemi, IEC spokesman, rejected all allegations of the political parties’ observers and said the commission had been trying to separate clean and fake votes in order to ensure transparency. (Pajhwok)