Senators for 2nd round of polls on schedule
KABUL (Pajhwok): Calling for a second round of presidential elections on schedule, Meshrano Jirga members on Sunday urged the people to widely participate in an imminent runoff between two top-voted candidates.
The call came a day after the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced preliminary results from the April 5 vote, showing Abdullah Abdullah is in the lead with 44.9 percent of the votes tallied. His main rival Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with 31.5 percent is in the second place.
Under the Constitution, a runoff should take place between two candidates having received the most votes after failing to reach the magic 50+1 percent.
Announcing the results, IEC chief Yousaf Nuristani said there was the possibility the election could go to a second round.
The upper house today discussed the elections. A member from southeastern Khost province, Arif Pashtun, said the IEC should hold the second round of elections on schedule in accordance with the election law.
He said security organs should also come up with required security measures to ensure the second round passed off peacefully and urged the masses to turn out in huge numbers.
“Some presidential candidates say they do not accept the preliminary results, it means they do not recognise the Constitution,” he said, but did not name anyone.
His colleague from western Farah province Gul Ahmad Azami said the authorities concerned should complete all arrangements for the second round vote under the election law.
“I urge the candidates to avoid fueling national, linguist and ethnic differences and anyone doing so is disloyal to the people of Afghanistan,” he said. He called on the masses to fully participate in the elections in a mark of national unity.
Hindu community representative in the upper house, Anar Kali Hunaryar, said the second round should take place in the stipulated time and the electoral bodies should respect the electorate.
Her colleague Maulvi Muhiuddin Munsif said the IEC should refrain from repeating the mistakes it committed in the first round on April 5.
He said the commission should provide sufficient ballot papers to all polling stations to avoid a shortage and should review the performance of its staff.
Munsif asked the security organs to put in place tight security measures in order to pave the ground for a huge turnout in the runoff race.
Lawmaker Khaliq Dad Balaghi said some elements wanted to intentionally push the elections into a second round, but did not give details. He said the elections were a national process, which should not be interfered with.
Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said the election process should be brought to an end in line with the election law and the Constitution.
He called on the two leading candidates to form a government through national consensus and shun a runoff.
However, Article 20 of the election law makes it compulsory for the two top-rated candidates to enter a runoff.
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