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IEC under govt influence, alleges Sher

IEC under govt influence, alleges Sher

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Oct 31, 2013 - 18:58

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A disqualified presidential candidate on Thursday accused the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) of toeing the government’s line on next year’s vote.

Bismillah Sher, who was excluded from the IEC preliminary list, told a news conference in Kabul the commission not being a permanent institution was under government’s influence.

Last week, the panel released the preliminary list of candidates for the April 2014 presidential ballot, featuring 10 of the 27 registered hopefuls.

His supporters would kick up a storm of protest if he was not included in the list, Sher warned, saying: “We’ll not allow President Karzai to enter Kabul and ask him why IEC can’t be cleansed of fraud.”

Sher rejected the allegation that he had dual citizenship, which reportedly led to his disqualification. “Before the previous presidential polls in 2009, I visited the US embassy to scrap my American citizenship.”

On the other hand, IEC spokesman Mohammad Noor spurned Sher’s allegation as groundless. Noor insisted the commission had always maintained a neutral posture and would continue to do so in future.

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