Rifts have slowed down recount, says IEC
KABUL (Pajhwok): Petty but frequent differences between representatives from the two presidential teams have slowed down the ongoing vote audit, the Independent Election Commission said on Friday.
IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told a news conference in Kabul that 485 ballot boxes were audited yesterday by as many as 260 teams working in two shifts.
On Wednesday, only 240 teams had scrutinised more than 700 boxes. The commission could not expedite its job as long as the mismatch of perceptions persisted, he said.
While requesting the campaigns to eschew stoking unnecessary controversies, Noor said the panel would be able to complete the audit soon if the process was allowed to proceed normally.
About President Hamid Karzai’s statement that Afghanistan should have a new president by the end of the current month, he said: “If rifts are sorted out, the audit exercise will be completed on schedule."
So far 8,867 ballot boxes (or 39 percent of the votes cast in the runoff elections), excluding yesterday’s recount, had been reassessed, the official added. National and international observers as well as candidate representatives numbering 1,150 were present.
Supposed to begin today, the special audit of 6,000 suspect ballot boxes had been delayed for a day due to logistical problems, the spokesman explained.
The commission would conduct the special audit in the presence of national and international observers, as well as UN staff, Noor said. Both electoral teams have agreed on an accurate review of the doubtful boxes.
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