Ballot boxes at 17 Balkh polling sites suspicious
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): So far 123 complaints about fraud and other irregularities in last weekend’s elections had been lodged in northern Balkh province, with ballot boxes of 17 polling centres recommended to be quarantined, officials said on Saturday.
Regional IECC chief Dad Mohammad Anabi told Pajhwok Afghan News 75 complaints had been registered against presidential candidates, 39 against provincial council candidates and nine against IEC workers.
He said the complaints alleged observers had been beaten, threatened and forcibly expelled from some polling stations.
The complainants claimed ballot boxes were stuffed at some polling centres, others marred by mismanagement and a shortage of ballot papers and some remained open beyond the official closing time.
Anabi said there were complaints that some candidates had been campaigning in areas close to polling sites.
However, he said there had been no serious charges against presidential candidates, but four provincial candidates had been accused of intimidating voters and stuffing ballot boxes.
Anabi said the regional IECC office had not yet suggested the IECC office to quarantine any ballot box, pending a review of the complaints to identify suspect ballot boxes in two days.
However, IEC regional chief said they had recommended the main office in Kabul to quarantine ballot boxes of 17 polling centres.
Izatullah Armaan said there were 51 suspect ballot boxes – one stuffed in favour of a presidential runners and the rest in favour of provincial council candidates.
He said most of the boxes had been filled with new votes in Mazar-I-Sharif, the provincial capital, and some in Sholgar, Zareh, Balkh, Kashandi and Dawlat Abaad districts.
There were a total of 319 polling sites in Balkh and six of them had been declared under high security threat.
But except one site, all other sites had been open on the Election Day (April 5).
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