Sherzai camp rejects opinion poll as illegal
KABUL (PAN): The election campaign team for Gul Agha Sherzai on Tuesday called a recent public opinion poll regarding the April presidential elections as irresponsible and aimed at gaining monetary benefits from domestic and foreign circles.
Released on Monday, the survey by Soft Power Solution (SPS) in collaboration with Democracy International (DI) in 115 districts of 34 provinces found the former Nangarhar governor lagging behind Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdul Qayum Karzai and Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf in the electoral race.
Only 25 respondents were showed supporting Sherzai behind 52 percent supporting Dr. Abdullah, 48 percent Ashraf Ghani, 40 percent Abdul Qayyum Karzai and 27 percent Sayyaf, 25 percent Zalmai Rassoul, 17 percent Rahim Wardak, 16 percent Daud Sultanzoy, 15 percent Qutbuddin Hilal, 15 percent Nadir Naeem and 11 percent Amin Arsala.
Sherzai’s first vice-presidential running mate, Syed Hussain Alimi Balkhi, told a news conference in Kabul they respected the freedom of speech, but the recent survey lacked transparency in its methodology and raised several questions, which needed to be answered.
He said such organisations through their selective researches wanted to confuse the masses before the electioneering began. He said it was possible the survey had been conducted for monetary benefits from some local and foreign circles.
“This survey does not represent the ground reality. If it had been done fairly, we would not have opposed it because we know we have the most supporters and we will be the winners,” Balkhi said.
He said if other such groups intended to conduct similar surveys, they should assure the candidates quality, transparency and professionalism in their work, which should be monitored by representatives of the candidates.
“Our campaign team strongly condemns this opinion poll as illegal and irresponsible. We have registered our complaints with the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the Election Complaints Commission (ECC), the Attorney General Office (AGO) and the Media Violations Commission (MVC) of the Information and Culture Ministry,” he said.
He said all candidates should be provided a level playing field and the government should take serious measures for holding transparent elections.
Also on Monday, the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) said the public opinion poll did not represent Afghanistan’s 30 million populations.
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