Recount of suspect ballots begins in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) officials on Monday started recounting votes of quarantined ballot boxes in northern Balkh province.
The vote recount in Mazar-i-Sharif began in the presence of election observers at a warehouse of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), where the suspicious boxes had been placed.
IECC chief in Balkh Dad Mohammad Anabi told Pajhwok Afghan News ballot boxes from 11 polling stations and one polling centre had been put in quarantine.
Most of the boxes had come from Zari district and the remaining from Mazar-i-Sharif, Kushanda, Charbolak, Chamtal and Sholgar districts. Anabi said the vote recount could last three days.
He said the audit and recount was being carried out in light of complaints investigated so far. There were a total of 126 complaints registered, he added.
Balkh IEC chief Izzatullah Arman, who was present at the scene, told Pajhwok Afghan News the elections in Balkh had gone well, but there had been instances of fraud committed by local commanders and powerful individuals.
He said one polling centre in Zari district had to be closed due to interference by two local illegal armed groups’ commanders.
“The two commanders tried to seize control of ballot boxes from election officials, but their bid was prevented,” he said. That was why most of the ballot boxes quarantined belonged to the Zari district, he explained.
Additionally, he said they had recommended the IEC headquarters in Kabul to quarantine ballot boxes from 17 polling centres from Balkh.
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