Protestors call for Amarkhel’s trial
FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Residents of Badakhshan and Kapisa provinces on Monday staged protest demonstrations against alleged fraud in the June 14 runoff election, calling for the election commission secretary’s trial.
In Badakhshan, hundreds of protesters marched in front of the IEC office and assembled in the Shahr-i-Kohna area of Faizabad, the provincial capital, in the morning.
The protestors chanted slogans against presidential candidate Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Independent Election Commission Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel.
The latest protests erupted a day after Abdullah’s team released an audio recording allegedly contained evidence of fraud against Amarkhel and some members of Ahmadzai’s team. But Amarkhel called the recording as fake and strongly rejected it.
A protestor Ghulam Sakhi said they had participated in the election after assurances from the authorities that the vote would be transparent.
But evidences showed the IEC and some members of Ahmadzai team had committed fraud, he said, asking the government to resolve the issue of fraud in the election.
A schoolteacher, Pashtoon, who participated in the rally, condemned the government for what he said committing negligence in conducting the national process. He asked the United Nations to intervene and separate valid votes from invalid ones.
The protestors asked the government to bring Amarkhel and Ahmadzai to justice for committing fraud; otherwise they would continue their protests.
Badakhshan Governor Shah Wali Adib said peaceful protests were the right of people. He said the IEC and the UN were trying to resolve the political impasse.
Elsewhere, about 400 people staged a protest demonstration against the alleged electoral fraud in Kapisa province.
They blocked the Sarobi-Jabal Alsaraj highway for several hours against traffic.
One of the protestors, Haji Baba Jan, told Pajhwok Afghan News they wanted their votes to be counted as invalid. “We would continue our protests until our questions are answered.”
The protesters were chanting slogans like, “death to dishonest,” and later issued a resolution letter that called for trial of those involved in electoral fraud.
Abdullah has boycotted the vote count and alleged that the turnout figure of seven million in the run-off was exaggerated, and that in several provinces there were more votes than eligible voters.
On Wednesday, Dr. Abdullah accused President Hamid Karzai of not staying impartial during the June 14 by-election, suspending ties with the two electoral bodies. The former foreign minister also demanded an immediate halt to the vote-tallying process.
However, the Presidential Palace poured scorn on Abdullah’s impartiality claim while the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said it would continue counting of votes.
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