Pajhwok launches webpage on poll fraud
KABUL (Pajhwok): Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) on Monday launched an independent and neutral webpage (www.afghansvote.af) to encourage people’s participation in the landmark presidential and provincial council elections and report attempts at manipulation.
The site offers all people the opportunity to share their reports, articles, photos, ideas and videos about the polls. Via social media, the news agency aims to enable people to share information regarding the ballot.
One key objective is to give due coverage to popular perceptions about the democratic exercise, rigging, fraud and other anomalies in far-flung areas. PAN seeks to evolve a credible mechanism for forging coordination among election monitors and observers.
Pajhwok also intends to establish an online information centre for international monitors and researchers.
In fact, the project is all about election monitoring by the people, according to Director of Pajhwok Afghan Danish Karokhel, who said 65 journalists of the news agency and 500 freelancers were working diligently to report rigging and irregularities.
“Our main audience is Afghans. Our major objective is to increase public awareness about election and unmask those who are trying to commit fraud,” remarked Karokhel.
He asked international election observers and the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) to utilise information on the page. “Realising the fact that most international observers won’t be able to watch polls across Afghanistan, Pajhwok deems it appropriate to highlight fraud,” Karokhel continued.
Media outlets were neither supposed to lodge electoral complaints nor interested in doing so, he said, urging the IECC and civil society to take action when fraud was reported.
Meanwhile, IECC Chairman Abdul Sattar Sadat hailed the Pajhwok initiative as a positive and effective effort at raising public awareness and checking the use of unfair means.
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