Oath ceremony for Kabul PC members cancelled
KABUL (Pajhwok): A planned oath-taking ceremony for the newly-elected provincial council members of central Kabul province to be held today (Tuesday) has been cancelled.
The ceremony, originally scheduled for Tuesday morning, has now been postponed to Monday due to a protest demonstration by nearly 300 people in front of the Governor’s House, where the event had to take place.
Losing candidates in Kabul and their supporters had previously warned of disrupting the swearing-in ceremony if their demands are not met.
After being put on hold for seven months, final results from the April 5 provincial council elections sparked protests and fraud allegations by failed candidates in various provinces.
Electoral officials link the delay in result announcement to investigations into fraud allegations.
Losing candidates in Kabul and some provinces have been refusing to accept the final outcome after their names were removed from the final list despite being declared winners in the preliminary results. They accuse leaderships of the two electoral bodies of fraud and rigging.
Waqifullah Roohani, a winning candidate, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Kabul acting governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa demanded that the oath-taking ceremony be postponed till Monday in order to avoid any disturbance due to the protest.
He said the winning candidates were members of the provincial council because they had obtained trust letters from the Independent Election Commission.
Losing candidate Syed Kamal Katawazai told Pajhwok Afghan News that fraud had been committed in the elections and in the results and they had evidence in this regard. He called for a vote recount for the sake of transparency in the elections.
Katawazai said if their allegations were proven false, they were ready to be punished, but they would not allow those having committed fraud to be administered oath as public representatives.
Another losing runner Rafiullah Gul Afghan, whose name had been removed from the final list, said he had evidence showing fraud had been committed in the elections.
He said they would continue their protest until their demands were met and r theivoices heard. He said they would not allow the winners to be administered oath of office.
If their demands were not paid attention, the move could plunge the country into a new crisis and the president and other high officials would be responsible for that, warned Afghan.
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