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Court-declared poll winners warn of protest

Court-declared poll winners warn of protest

Aug 20, 2011 - 18:36

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): Sixty-two parliamentary candidates, who have been declared as winners by the special election tribunal, said on Saturday they would not accept any change in the court's decision.

"If the verdict is not enforced, we would embark on a series of protests, which would lead to a nationwide movement," Daud Sultanzoy, one of the beneficiaries of the judgment, told a gathering in Kabul.

On June 23, the special court, charged with investigating allegations of irregularities in last year's vote, found fraud in 33 of Afghanistaninfo-icon's 34 provinces.

In its verdict, the court said 62 of the 249 sitting parliamentarians were not entitled to hold their seats based on the results of a vote recount.

On August 10, President Hamid Karzai ordered the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) to resolve the lingering dispute between Parliament and losing candidates.

"I declare that none of us would accept the exclusion of even a single winner from the list," Sultanzoy said, explaining their efforts were not aimed at finding their way to Parliament. They wanted justice, he continued.

"If the court's decision is not implemented, a political crisis will erupt because the 62 candidates would not stay silent," said Rubina Jalali, a female candidate.

A number of other losers, not on the list, also pledged backing for the court's decision.  IEC officials, on the other hand, say they would make a final decision on the issue this week.

Although it is not yet clear how many candidates would find their way to Parliament, there are rumours that 10 to 35 aspirants are likely to replace sitting parliamentarians, who have been found guilty of vote rigging.

MP Zahir Qadir, who is member of a 137-member coalition that staged a sit-in a day after Karzai issued the decree, said they would not let any of the 62 candidates enter the lower house.



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