IEC plans to accelerate vote audit process
KABUL (Pajhwok): So far more than 2,000 ballot boxes have been assessed and the number of workers auditing votes from the June election would be increased to 300 in order to accelerate the process, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Monday.
The vote audit was launched on July 17 after US Secretary of State John Kerry brokered a deal between the two candidates, but since the process had faced several suspensions owing to differences between the candidates over the UN-proposed criteria for invalidation of fraudulent votes.
Earlier, the IEC would review 400 ballot boxes a day and it had to suspend the audit process due to disagreements between the two runners. Since July 17, the IEC has so far recounted votes cast in more than 2,000 boxes.
“The auditing process is normally carried out by 200 working groups in two shifts,” IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told journalists in Kabul.
In the coming days, he said, the number of working teams would be increased to 300 in order to accelerate the process.
Of the about 23,000 ballot boxes, more than 21,900 boxes from 32 provinces containing 92.4 percent of all the votes cast in the runoff election had reached the IEC main office.
The vote audit had been scheduled to resume on Sunday, but hit another snag after presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s representatives refused to attend the recount due to disagreements over how votes would be judged fraudulent.
However, later UN officials said Abdullah had agreed to rejoin the audit after intense negotiations to put the electoral process on track.
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