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Kandahar IEC chief fired, referred to attorney over electoral crimes

Kandahar IEC chief fired, referred to attorney over electoral crimes

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Jan 27, 2019 - 19:57

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) head for southern Kandahar province has been sacked and introduced to the attorney’s office over alleged electoral offenses.

Karimullah Stanikzai, head of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) in Kandahar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the decision of firing the IEC chief, Dr. Niamatullah Wardak for Kandahar, had been made by the commission’s central office in Kabulinfo-icon.

He said Wardak was introduced to the attorney office and imposed a fine of 50,000 afghanis on charges of electoral crimes.

The IEC head for Kandahar poorly managed the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon elections in the province that led to widespread rigging and fraud, he said.

However, Dr. Niamatullah Wardak said his removal and introduction to the attorneys was a baseless decision. He said he would continue his job according to the law.

“This is a baseless decision made by the IECC, they sent a letter to the IEC’s central office but the provincial office of the commission is unaware about it,” he added.

Wardak said he had been appointed to the position based on a signature from the president and the IECC had no right to remove him.

An investigation should be launched first before firing an official to find out who were responsible for failures, he said.

Kandahar governor’s spokesman, Aziz Ahmad Azizi, also said they were unaware about the issue.

This comes after a number of failing Wolesi Jirga candidates in Kandahar shut the election commissions’ offices in protest after initial results of the Oct polls were announced. The protestors had demanded removal and trial of election officials.

The protesting candidates had claimed that Kandahar elections were massively rigged and needed an investigation as well as asked for invalidation of votes cast without biometric verification.

mds/ma

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