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Protesting candidates in Khost want all votes recounted

Protesting candidates in Khost want all votes recounted

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Dec 17, 2018 - 16:18

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): After closing a key highway, failing Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon candidates and their supporters have closed the Governor’s House main gate against employees in southeastern Khost province.

The fresh blockade comes amid already closure of the Gardez-Khost City highway by the protestors to reject preliminary results of the Wolesi Jirga polls.

The protesting people say the elections were rigged in interest of specific candidates and all votes should be recounted in the presence of foreign observers.

Abdul Wali Wahidzai, a protesting candidate who was unable to be among the winners in the preliminary list, said the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) had ordered a recount of all votes in Khost, but the local Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) was violating the order.

He added: “Votes which are not biometrically verified should be declared invalid, we want response to our 28 demands that we have submitted to the IECC and want clarification about votes cast by Waziristani refugees for some candidates.”

Ajab Noor Mangal, another protesting candidate, they would not lift the blockade of Gardez-Khost road and the governor’s office until the commission responded to their demands in a positive way.

“When votes of 91 polling stations were recounted, a huge difference was found between the results provided at the end of Election Day and the result after the recount.”

Supporters of these candidates also warned of widespread protests if the commission failed to address their demands.

Kamal Khan and Hayat Khan, residents of Khost, said. “We want transparent votes to be separated from fake votes.” They warned the gate of the governor’s house would remain shut if their demands were fulfilled.

IEC head for Khost Shah Jahan Sardari rejected the allegations of the protesting candidates about rigging in the interest of certain candidates. He said the recount of all votes was above their authority and asked the candidates to convey their demands to the central IEC office.

nh/ma

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