25 complaints filed against vote invalidation
KABUL (Pajhwok): As the stop-start vote audit process hit a new snag, the Afghan-led election watchdog announced receiving 25 complaints from the Change and Continuity team against invalidation of bogus votes.
The announcement comes a day after the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said it had invalidated votes from 72 polling centres cast during the June 14 presidential runoff election.
Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) spokesman Nadir Mohseni told reporters in Kabul the Change and Continuity team, led by Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, had submitted 25 complaints against invalidation until 5pm on Tuesday.
He said the complaints included seven from southeastern Paktika province, six from Kandahar and the rest from other provinces, where the votes had been cast.
Mohseni said the complaints would be addressed before noon tomorrow at an open hearing, asking the Change and Continuity team and the IEC to send their representatives to the hearing.
To a question, Mohseni said: “If the Reform and Unanimity team had any complaint that should have been filed, but we have not yet received any from their side.”
Abdullah’s team earlier in the day pulled out of the vote audit process, saying its technical demands had not been endorsed regarding the invalidation procedure.
The campaign claimed no prior agreement had been reached with it on the UN-proposed invalidation method, a claim the IEC dismissed. The IEC says the two sides had earlier agreed to the procedure.
Mohseni urged the IEC to publish online on its website the outcome of invalidated votes as soon as possible.
He said the outcome of the vote recount and scrutiny was being reassessed and the electoral teams could submit at every stage their complaints within 24 hours.
Abdullah had previously boycotted the vote count process, citing massive fraud in the runoff election, but later agreed with his rival Ashraf Ghani on the formation of a unity government.
About the final result from the provincial council polls, Mohseni said it would be announced next week by the IEC.
About the tape recording attributed to second Vice-President Karim Khalili, the IECC spokesman said the matter had been referred to the judiciary.
The Reform and Unanimity has also released a similar audio recording claiming to be former IEC secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel. Both Amarkhel and Khalili have called the recordings as fake.
Mohseni said they had requested the UN to help confirm the authenticity of Amarkhel’s voice, but the world body said sorry.
He said letters had been sent to the Ministry of Interior, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Attorney General’s Office in the case of Amarkhel, but there had been no response as yet.
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