Mobile SMS service suspended
KABUL (Pajhwok): On the eve of presidential and provincial council elections, the government on Friday suspended the Short Message Service (SMS) of leading mobile phone companies operating in the country.
The Afghanistan Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (ATRA) chief Sher Gul Dawari told Pajhwok Afghan News the step had been taken in line with a request from the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC).
Earlier in the day, Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Abdul Sattar Sadat told journalists in Kabul that leading presidential runners Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Zalmai Rassoul were found canvassing after expiry of the period.
A million messages were sent via three telecommunication companies -- Etisalat, AWCC and Roshan -- asking people to vote for Abdullah.
Dawari said the service would remain suspended until Saturday evening to block canvassing through text messages. In the late-night development, MTN, Etisalat and AWCC implemented the restriction but the Roshan company was yet to close the service, he added.
Meanwhile IECC denies any request for suspending the SMS.
Mohammad Nadir Mohseni IECC secretary and spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News that they have just asked for investigation over the SMS’s sent to the people at the elections silence period.
Under the electoral law, the campaign should conclude 48 hours ahead of the voting day.
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