Don’t fuel tensions, Nuristani tells runners
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission chairman on Sunday asked the presidential runners to run their campaigns within the framework of relevant laws and avoid raking up issues that might fuel tensions.
Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani told a news conference in Kabul that both candidates Dr. Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani should seek votes on the basis of their programmes for promoting good governance and economic growth.
He urged the contenders to respect religious beliefs, rule of law and established customs in their campaign for the June 14 runoff vote. He called for them to eschew raising divisive religious, ethnic and linguistic issues.
“For the sake of strengthening the spirit of unity and avoiding differences, both should explain their programmes and priorities to the masses. They should desist from … offending the people and using provocative language,” the IEC head stressed.
Abdullah and Ghani recently traded hot words and allegations of fraud in the election. Abdullah discounted Sibghatullah Mujaddedi’s support to Ghani, who in turn accused his rival of having a violent background.
Similarly, he hinted at strict observation of the voting process to thwart attempts at rigging. He recalled around 35,000 observers had been issued cards during the first round of polls but 30 percent of them had no presence at polling sites.
Observers played a critical role in foiling bids to commit irregularities, he acknowledging, hoping that efforts were made not to repeat flaws done in the first round of elections.
The IEC would give 25,000 cards to each candidate, he said, adding creation of 3,500 new polling sites was under consideration. Total strength of polling sites will reach 23,313.
In addition, he said the IEC had sacked and blacklisted 5,488 employees involved in fraud. The decision to fire the tainted employees was taken to ensure transparency in the runoff vote, he said.
He said that a number of names of those government officials who interfered in the election process had been sent to the presidential palace for action against them.
The IEC had conveyed its reservations to security agencies with regard to elections and they had promised fool-proof security.
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