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Rigging: Kuchi candidates threaten to boycott future polls

Rigging: Kuchi candidates threaten to boycott future polls

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Nov 14, 2018 - 18:57

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A number of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon candidates from the Kuchiinfo-icon (nomads) tribe on Wednesday claimed the elections in their electoral zone were rigged and warned to boycott future polls if their claims were not investigated and addressed.

More than 20 candidates from the Kuchi electoral zone came together from different provinces and addressed a joint press conference in Kabul. They demanded audit and recount of all votes from the Kuchi polling stations and invalidation of votes cast without biometric verification.

Inayatullah Sahrai, one of the protesting candidates, said the Oct 20 vote was massively rigged in the Kuchi electoral zone particularly in Kandahar province.

He claimed the Kuchi Solidarity Department and powerful figures were involved in the election fraud.

Sayed Omar Hariq, another candidate, alleged ballot stuffing was committed in favorite of some candidates at four polling sites in Kandahar province.

He named Mirwais Hussainkhel, a candidate who he said had only 218 votes, but the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) counted 876 votes for him and another candidate who had 65 votes, the commission registered 521 votes in his favor.

Some polling sites in Kuchi electoral zone remained closed on the first day of elections for unknown reasons and a large number of Kuchis were unable to cast their votes, he said, adding that ballot boxes in such sites were stuffed for some specific candidates.

The protesting candidates also played video clips that show ballot stuffing and not allowing election observers to enter polling sites.

Farzana Kuchi, another candidate, said election commission officials were complicit in the electoral fraud in Kandahar.

“We ask the government to bring those to justice who rigged the elections and played with people’s votes,” she demanded.

She said they would boycott elections in their zone in future if their problems were not addressed.

The IEC and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) say they have received thousands of election complaints from different parts of the country and they would address all of them.

mds/ma

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