AGO to probe PC candidates fraud allegations
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Presidential Palace’s Administrative Affairs Office has directed the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to investigate fraud allegations raised by losing candidates in the April provincial council elections, a lawmaker said on Thursday.
After being put on hold for seven months, final results from the April 5 vote were released last month, dropping a number of previously declared winners from the final list.
The announcement sparked protests by losing candidates in various provinces, accusing the two electoral bodies of accepting bribes from rival candidates and committing widespread irregularities during the elections.
Senator Rafiullah Gul, who lost his reelection bid, told reporters in Kabul that the Administrative Affairs Office had referred the two electoral bodies to the AGO in response to complaints from losing candidates. He said the AGO had been asked to investigate the fraud and vote rigging allegations.
A copy of the letter is available with Pajhwok Afghan News. The letter dated Nov. 17 says protesting provincial council candidates from 34 provinces through a resolution letter have claimed those making it the councils had been a result of wrongdoings of election commissions.
It adds if the electoral bodies’ acts have any criminal aspect and complainants are able to produce valid evidence about violations of election law by the commissions, a legal action should be initiated without any delay.
Gul Afghan said: “The AGO confirmed to us it has received the letter and told us that it will formally start work on it on Saturday.”
He said protesting candidates from all the provinces had submitted evidence and documents about the electoral fraud to the AGO.
“We have full trust in the AGO that it will resolve our problems,” said the upper house member, who warned they would not stay silent until they were given their rights.
Efforts at seeking comments from the AGO did not succeed. Many protests have been carried out by losing candidates in various provinces against the provincial council election results.
They said the results were not acceptable to them because widespread fraud had been committed in the elections by electoral officials.
Election officials have denied committing any wrongdoing and say they had tried their level best to prevent fraud and ensure transparency.
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