Electoral bodies vow valid votes-based results
KABUL (Pajhwok): As vote-counting continues, the two national electoral institutions on Wednesday acknowledged there had been instances of fraud in Saturday's presidential polls. They said efforts were being made to announce the outcome based on valid ballots.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani told reporters in Kabul IEC officials would be referred to the attorney’s office if they were found guilty of electoral fraud.
He said an official of a vote-tallying centre in southeastern Khost province had been referred to the attorney’s office after some armed individuals interfered with ballot boxes. “The matter is still under investigation.”
Local officials in Khost had said some illegal armed men had entered the centre on Saturday and stuffed some ballot boxes with new votes.
Nuristani cited little awareness about the elections, problems on roads in supply of logistic materials to polling stations and the lack of accurate voter lists as some of the challenges the IEC confronted during the elections.
Other challenges had been a shortage of female staff at woman’s polling stations and electronic identity cards, he added. However, Nuristani said the elections had been a success despite all these challenges.
He said they planned to airlift ballot boxes to the provincial capitals of Ghor, Badakhshan and Daikundi from 26 districts today (Wednesday).
Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) chief Abdul Sattar Sadat, who was present at the press conference, said there had been many incidents of electoral fraud and other irregularities during the April 5 elections.
He said there were also complaints against IEC workers, but promised invalid votes would be separated from genuine ones. “We will not let fraud to tarnish the Afghans’ pride.”
He said the two electoral bodies were responsible to announce the results based on valid votes.
Sadat said if complaints were not investigated, it could leave a question mark on the vote’s credibility.
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