Officials accused of interference with vote recount
KABUL (PAN): A number of unsatisfied poll candidates on Saturday accused local officials of interfering in a vote recount by a team of the special court looking into fraud allegations in last year's parliamentary election.
The vote recount in Badakhshan, Khost, Nangarhar, Herat, Faryab, Takhar, Parwan and Paktia showed some sitting MPs from those provinces were involved in rigging and they might be replaced by their rivals, hoped Daud Sultanzoi, a losing candidate from Ghazni.
Speaking on behalf of the unsuccessful runners, he said governors and other officials in some provinces were trying to influence the recount process. However, he did not name anyone.
"If this intervention continues, we will seek the removal of such officials," he warned, asking President Hamid Karzai to take action. "Karzai as a president should pay serious attention to the issue," Sultanzoi said.
The special court set up by the Supreme Court is currently recounting votes cast in the second post Taliban election in 13 provinces.
However, members of the Parliament inaugurated on Jan. 26 have been calling the establishment of the court as illegal; demanding the president dissolve the tribunal.
Another losing candidate from capital Kabul, Abdul Kabir Ranjbar, said that the president had no legal right to dissolve the court.
"The article 122 of the constitution says a case in the jurisdiction of a judicial branch can not be transferred to another organ under any circumstances," he said.
"Such demand from MPs shows they lack knowledge of the constitution and it would be a misuse of authority if the tribunal is disbanded," he added.
Although losing candidates, the Attorney General's Office and other organs say the September parliamentary election was marred by massive rigging, the Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission declares the vote free and fair.
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