Noor comes hard on electoral bodies
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor on Tuesday hailed the April 5 elections as a success, but accused some election officials of being partial in tallying votes
Noor was addressing a gathering in Mazar-i-Sharif to pay tributes to security forces for their efforts to protect voters and polling sites during the historic presidential and provincial elections.
Government officials and tribal elders attended the gathering at the Governor’s House. Noor praised the security forces, saying their role in the elections was commendable.
He described the past 13 years as a relatively satisfactory period in Afghanistan's history, barring some missed opportunities. Noor gave President Hamid Karzai the credit for his services to the nation, saying the head of state had been able to make certain achievements.
However, he was unhappy with the election results, rejecting complaints in Balkh about irregularities. “I don’t say the entire election and the complaints commission are composed of wrongdoers, but among them, there are officials who have not been impartial and had committed fraudulent acts.”
For instance, Noor said, 100,000 votes were invalidated within two days in western Herat province. He added people had enthusiastically taken part in the elections, but their sentiments were hurt and their wish to elect a president dishonoured.
“How can these votes be declared null and avoid in two days? How did they find time to do so when complaints were registered 10 days ago?,” he asked. Noor said similar incidents had taken place in much of Afghanistan.
About the elections in Balkh, the governor said all but two polling centres had run out of ballot papers. There were no other problems, he continued.
Thousands of people could not vote in Balkh because of ballot papers' shortage, he said, and wondered when ballot papers were not available, then what prompted fraud.
“I have received some complaints from Kabul that I have closed a polling centre and stuffed ballot boxes. For God sake, who can do this?”
In reference to the Independent Election Commission and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, Noor asked the two bodies to avoid telling lies and bringing themselves under question.
He said ballot boxes from Balkh had been recounted multiple times in Kabul as part of a plot against Abdullah Abdullah. “Tampering with votes is playing with a lion, with a dragon and with future. Nothing will go unquestioned.”
Noor’s accusation comes the day the IECC said fraudulent votes had been cast in Balkh. Talking to reporters in Kabul, IECC spokesman Nader Muhseni rejected Noor’s allegations.
IEC Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said they had been impartial and would maintain their neutrality.
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