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Candidates, supporters say their votes stolen

Candidates, supporters say their votes stolen

Oct 21, 2018 - 19:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some candidates and observers in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon elections on Sunday said they did not trust Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) officials and that their votes were thrown out.

Fawad Aman, a Wolesi Jirga candidate from Kabul, criticized what he said mismanaged voting process and IEC performance and said votes of some of the candidates were thrown out secretly.

“Seventy or 80 percent of votes cast in my favor on Saturday are missing. In some polling stations where people voted for me are now missing,” he said.

He accused IEC workers of fraud and said teachers employed as election workers stuffed ballot boxes in favor of some specific candidates.

Aman said election observers were tricked into leave polling stations under excuses of security threats, electric short circuits and other pretexts and then ballot boxes were stuffed in favor of specific candidates.

Despite violence and technical problems, people cast their votes, but it seemed a political game was played with their votes.

Tafsir Seyahposh, another Wolesi Jirga candidate from Kabul, said 12 members of her family polled votes for him on Saturday in Herati Mosqueinfo-icon in Shahr-i-Naw area of Kabul, but the next day only three votes were found in the same polling station.

“I do not know what they did with our other nine votes or for which candidate my votes were used, I will register complaint right now and will tell them the polls were not transparent,” she said.

Zahir Ahmad, a resident of Deh Afghanan area of Kabul, also made similar claims and said they waited for more than one hour to vote, but their votes were stolen and used for another candidate.

He added two other people in their area also suspected IEC workers rigged the election. Ahmad said it was his first time voting and would not vote again in future.

Atiqullah, a resident of Bagrami district, said he cast his vote on Saturday, but his vote was not counted for the candidate of his choice in the result list.

“I waited for at least two hours and finally I was able to cast my vote to the candidate of my choice,” he said.

“I could say with full confidence that my vote was stolen and used in the benefit of another candidate,” he claimed.

Ahmad Shoiab, one of the observers, said: “Last night we waited until 12:00am when the voting process concluded and our candidate secured 13 votes in Sufi Islam Amin polling station but in the morning when we returned, only three votes were available in all centres.”

Fatema, an observer of Ghulam Ali Parsa, said: “Our candidate received more than 15 votes and we took snapshot from the list but today only one vote was shown on the list and the remaining 14 votes were missing.”

She asked the IECC to strictly investigate the rigging and save people’s votes from going in vain.

Attaullah, a resident of Ahmad Shah Baba Mena who also served as observer on Election Day, said he and his family polled 12 votes to a candidate of their choice in the Musa Shafiq polling station.

“But early in the morning, zero was written in front of the candidate’s name in the results list, to whom we voted.”

Merza Mohammad Haqparast, deputy spokesman of the IEC, said the results without signatures of observers were not acceptable to the IEC and such votes would be reexamined.

He said if voters and candidates had complaints, they should register them with the IECC in order to be redressed.



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