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IECC invalidates Kuchi votes at 14 polling stations

IECC invalidates Kuchi votes at 14 polling stations

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Nov 25, 2018 - 18:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) regional office in Kabul has declared votes of 14 polling stations in Kuchiinfo-icon constituency as invalid and referred candidates Rasoul Khan and Shah Wazir Tarakhel to the judiciary over alleged fraud and rigging.

Shah Wazir Tarakhel was a Kuchi nominee from Kabul while Mullahinfo-icon Tarakhel, a current member of the lower house, is his relative.

In addition, the IECC invalidated votes cast for Kuchi candidate Rasoul Khan Kuchi and punished him with a cash fine.

According to the IECC, the votes of Kuchi tribesmen cast at 34 polling booths in 14 polling stations have been invalidated.

Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon candidate Shah Wazir Tarakhel and his relative Mullah Trakhel Mohammadi have been referred to the investigation organs over election fraud, use of force on the election day, barring observers, allowing under 18-year-olds to vote and campaigning on the Election Day,” said a document from the regional IECC office.

Besides his referral to the judiciary and invalidation of votes polled in 11 polling stations at 28 polling booths, the IECinfo-icon also fined Shah Wazir 80,000 afghanis over violations in line with the election law.

In addition, the IEC invalidated another Kuchi candidate Rasoul Khan’s votes in three polling stations and fined him 40,000 afghanis.  He was also accused of similar charges leveled against Wazir.

Ali Razar Rohani, IECC spokesman, defended the decision of the regional office and added the commission was free and independent in making decisions.

“The IECC decision is legal and enforceable. If the accused legally challenge the decision, the central IECC office then would oversee the issue.”

Meanwhile, Rasoul Khan Kuchi told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The commission decision is unjust and partial.” He said all his votes were biometrically verified and transparent and he would defend them.

Khochi voters warned to stage widespread protests if the commission did not reconsider its decision.

nh/ma

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