IEC rejects decision of special tribunal
KABUL (PAN): Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials on Sunday said that no one had the authority to change the results of last year's parliamentary elections after the final results had been announced.
Any attempt to alter the final results could violate the constitution of Afghanistan, IEC officials said in a statement issued here in Kabul on Sunday.
On June 23, a special court charged with investigating last year's parliamentary election found fraud in 33 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, saying that 62 of 249 sitting parliamentarians were not qualified to hold their seats based on the results of a vote recount.
Last Thursday the court also announced names of the 40 candidates from 18 provinces who had won seats in the Wolesi Jirga, Parliament's lower house, according to the recount.
The court has long been expected to render its decision. The Wolesi Jirga reacted strongly as the announcement approached.
The IEC has the sole authority to manage and monitor the electoral process according to article 156 of the Afghan Constitution, the statement said. "Since it is the responsibility of IEC to count the votes and declare a result, no other organization or institution can interfere," it said.
All fraudulent votes had been removed from the original final tally, and the recount’s results were not valid, the statement said.
The IEC statement went on to say that the electoral body would hold firmly to this stance in the face of what it called illegal pressure from government, foundations, organizations, or other officials.
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