Delay to allow for vote audit: Noor
KABUL (Pajhwok): Delaying by two days the release of preliminary results from the April 5 presidential elections, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday said it would still release a third set of partial results on Thursday.
IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told reporters in Kabul they would release a third set of partial results on Thursday and would most likely release the preliminary results on Saturday, April 26.
He said the delay was aimed to allow for auditing and recounting votes and continue their probe into reported irregularities during the election process.
The commission has so far released two sets of partial results, showing Abdullah Abdullah’s lead over his main rival Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has slightly increased. Some 7 million Afghans voted for eight people competing in the race.
But Abdullah is still unlikely to win the 50 percent of votes that would bring him to outright victory, but both the leading candidates have said there were fraud.
IEC secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said the delay in releasing the preliminary results was to allow for auditing and recounting of suspect votes.
The election commission announced on Sunday it quarantined ballots of 1,400 polling stations across the country, saying they need auditing.
Noor said the IEC had decided to subjugate fraudulent votes and enter valid ballots into the IEC’s data system.
“The IEC is using a sophisticated mechanism to filter out suspect votes, but it takes time,” he said.
He said recounting of votes at 789 sites was underway and the process would be complete shortly.
He said results from all the provinces had been entered to the data system, indicating 98.25 percent of votes had been tallied so far.
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