Delay in initial poll results widely criticised
KABUL (Pajhwok): Concerned over the delay in announcing preliminary results from the June 14 presidential runoff election, residents of Kabul city and some provinces on Wednesday linked the postponement to foreign pressure and interferences by the presidential hopefuls in matters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
The results, due to be announced today (Wednesday), have been delayed for an indefinite period, with IEC officials currently busy recounting votes cast at nearly 2000 polling stations.
The recount is to meet one of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s key demands. He has boycotted the vote tallying process for what he said blatant fraud in favour of his rival Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
Election officials say they are waiting for the outcome of efforts being made by the two vice-presidents to resolve differences between Ghani and Abdullah.
The general public, however, believes some other factors, including foreign pressure, are also responsible for the delay in announcing initial results.
Muhammad Raza, a flowers seller in downtown Kabul, said people were tired of the war and corrupt politicians allied with the candidates. He added if the election resulted into a crisis, only the people would suffer because these politicians had their capital and properties abroad.
A taxi driver Nimatullah Muhammadi said his income had severely dropped due to the ongoing political tension.
“The candidates are not different from other politicians, they arrogantly claim victory and show no respect to each other”, he regretted. Muhammadi said one of the candidates used complaints about electoral fraud as an excuse to undermine the Independent Election Commission.
A private university, Kardan, economic faculty student Muhammad Mansoor Malakzada said the widening distrust and blame game between the two candidates would drag the entire nation into a conflict.
He believed a coalition government could not resolve problems plaguing the country. He opined a government comprised of different parties would have more problems.
Hussain Dad Ahmadi, who heads Bamyan civil society group, said: “The delay in results announcement is due to excessive meddling by candidates and their supporters into the affairs of electoral bodies.”
He added the electoral bodies should have rejected all kinds of pressure from the international community and other stakeholders for a delay in announcing results.
Nasrullah Naqibi, a resident of northern Kunduz province, said: “The people of Afghanistan had been waiting for the results on Wednesday in the hope that the existing political and economical problems would decrease to some extent.”
Ahmad Shah, a resident of Lashkargah City, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province, called the delay in election results against the law. He asked the electoral bodies to respect people’s votes and act in accordance with the law.
Kamil Dawari, another resident, said the delay was to allow a vote recount at some polling sites. He believed the recounting would not alter the final results.
Rahimullah, a resident of Jalalabad city, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, said: “The delay in announcing results may possibly push us into a political crisis.”
Rahimullah Zeerak, another Jalalabad resident: “Elections mean the victory of one side and defeat of the other." He said the defeated side should accept its failure and let the winner form the next government.
He suspected President Karzai’s interference in the election might be one of the reasons behind the delay.
Abdul Jabbar, a resident of Laghman province, said: “One of the presidential contenders has warned if the results were not in his favor, he will stage protest demonstrations in Kabul.”
He said the presidential contenders should accept the results and work for the country’s development and progress.
Rahmatullah, a resident of southeastern Paktika province, said: “The delay in releasing results has discredited the independence of electoral bodies.”
He said the election bodies should not come under pressure from any outside force.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.