MPs wants fake and valid votes separated
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirga --- lower house of parliament --- members on Monday asked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to withhold preliminary results until fraudulent votes were separated from original ones.
Earlier, presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai also asked the IEC to stop releasing further results until fraudulent votes were cleaned out.
The calls come a day after the IEC released partial results based on nearly 50 percent votes tallied in all the provinces, showing Abdullah Abdullah’s lead over Ahmadzai has slightly increased.
Abdullah with 44 percent votes is in the lead and Ahmadzai with 33 percent in the second place.
The Electoral Complaints Commission has said its investigation into about 3000 registered complaints is underway.
Bashir Ahmad Tanj, who represents northern Faryab province in the lower house, said the two electoral bodies should separate bogus votes from genuine ones before announcing further results.
He warned if fake votes were not cleaned out, it could leave the people of Afghanistan concerned about the vote’s credibility.
His viewpoint was echoed by a colleague from western Herat province, Manwar Shah Bahadari, who asked the IEC to stay committed to impartiality throughout the process in order to avoid any political turmoil.
He said the people of Herat did not support fraud in the elections and their votes should not be considered fraudulent. This he said a day after the complaints commission declared about 100,000 votes as invalid at 27 polling centres in Herat.
Ghulam Hussain Nasiri, who represents central Maidan Wardak province, told the house that the elections were of great importance to the people of Afghanistan.
He said officials of the two electoral bodies should appear before the legislature and brief lawmakers about electoral problems.
He said the ballots should have been counted inside polling centres because tallying them at the IEC’s tally centre could lead to fraud.
However, votes have been counted at polling centres amid complaints observers were denied access to results in some polling stations.
Nasiri said the IEC should announce results based on real votes because any ambiguity could push the country into crisis.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the IEC should play a responsible role in compiling results. “The Wolesi Jirga is not supportive of electoral fraud nor it accepts fraud, but votes should not be cancelled if the evidence is not strong enough,” he remarked.
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