Observers barred from entering polling centre
KABUL (Pajhwok): Election observers and a Pajhwok Afghan News reporter were barred from entering a mosque designated as a polling centre in the Pul-i-Charkhi area of the central capital Kabul on Saturday.
Ballot papers had run out around 3:30pm at the polling centre set up at a mosque that belongs to Mullah Tarakhel, a lawmaker. The polling centre contained five separate voting sites for men and women, a Pajhwok reporter at the scene said.
He heard people waiting outside the facility as rumoring that the ballot boxes had already been stuffed before someone could cast his/her vote. Observers and the Pajhwok reporter were not allowed to see the ballot boxes, which had been moved elsewhere.
A local resident, who wished anonymity, said armed men associated with Tarakhel and his rival Allah Gul Mujahid had a verbal clash a day earlier when ballot boxes and other election material arrived at the polling centre.
They even pointed guns at each other, but did not fire and later agreed to negotiate the issue of who should possess the ballot boxes?, the resident said, quoted security officials, who were his guests last night.
He said policemen deployed at the polling centre were loyal to Mullah Tarakhel and there had been merry go round voting inside the building.
There were two polling centre in the Pul-i-Charkhi area, east of Kabul, the resident said, adding the second centre was set up in another mosque, which belongs to Mir Ali, also Tarakhel’s loyalist.
Tarakhel’s aides Mir Wali and Mullah Mohammad Omar were candidates in the provincial council elections and the pair took the ballot boxes home over the pretext that women could not visit mosques, he said.
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