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Baghlan candidates want fake votes invalidated

Baghlan candidates want fake votes invalidated

Oct 27, 2018 - 19:25

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon candidates in northern Baghlan province have accused local officials of meddling in the parliamentary elections and demanded non-biometric and fraudulent votes to be invalidated and individuals involved in rigging punished.

Over 20 Wolesi Jirga candidates rallied in Shahr-i-Naw area of capital Kabul on Saturday and termed the Wolesi Jirga elections in Baghlan as full of fraud and demanded justice.

Aziz Rahman Sakhizada, a Wolesi Jirga candidate from Baghlan, alleged security forces, some district chiefs, illegal armed men and election commission officials interfered and rigged the Wolesi Jirga elections.

He said votes in ballot boxes hugely exceeded voter lists and asked the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) to recount votes and accept ballots which were passed through biometric verification.

“In the Tala wa Barfak district, no election has taken place, district officials filled ballot boxes and sent them to the centre,” alleged Sakhizada.

“We support free, fair and transparent election and we are here not to create problems for people but demand transparency in elections. We will accept the result of elections which are gone through biometric system,” he said.

Abdul Sammad Hamid Poya, another candidate, echoed Sakhizada’s remarks and added: “No polls took place in Tala wa Barfak district, even a single ballot is not cast there.”

He alleged all ballot boxes had been stuffed by District Police Chief Haji Abdullah within the premises of the district centre.

He claimed evidence showed massive rigging took place in Andarab, Khenjan, Khost and other districts of Baghlan.

The protesting candidates asked the government and election bodies to separate transparent and suspicious votes and introduced individuals involved in rigging to the prosecutors.

They warned in case the government ignored their demands, they would block the Kabul-Mazar-i-Sharif highway and cut off electricity supply and even wage civil disobedience.

IEC spokesman Syed Hafeezullah Hashami, addressing a press conference, said transparent and fraudulent votes would be separated through a specific mechanism.

IECC spokesman Ali Raza Rohani reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring transparency and the commission would allow no candidate’s rights to be violated.

Earlier, a number of candidates and political parties demanded votes which did not go through biometric to be invalidated.

Separately, civil societyinfo-icon activists and representatives of political groups and politically influential individuals dubbed the October 20 and 21 polls as rigged and illegitimate and demanded the conduct of free and fair Wolesi Jirga polls.

“Unfortunately, 75 to 90 percent people were intentionally deprived of casting their votes in polling stations nation-wide,” said Sardar Mohammad Daud Azemi, head of the Mohammad Zaei tribe in Nangarhar.

Yousufzai Shoiab, a civil society activist, said the Wolesi Jirga elections were massively rigged and controlled by powerful individuals.


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