A primary ACJC court sentences 10 election commissioners to five years in prison
A primary court of Afghanistan’s
Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) has sentenced seven commissioners of the
Independent Election Commission (IEC) and three commissioners of the
Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) to five years in prison on
Tuesday, September 03, on allegations of manipulating parliamentary elections’
result in the eastern Kunar province.
Gula Jan Abdulbadi Sayyad, Wasima Badghisi, Maazullah Dawlati, Rafiullah Bedar, Abdul Qader Quraishi, Hafizullah Hashimi, and Maliha Hassan are seven IEC commissioners who have been sentenced to five years in prison. In addition, Abdul Aziz Ariayee, Humaira Haqmal, and Abdul Baseer Fayeez are the three IECC commissioners who have been sentenced to five years of imprisonment.
Ahmad Shah Zamanzai, former
chief of IEC secretariat, and the commission’s ICT director, Sayed Ibrahim
Sadat, who were accused of being involved in vote rigging, were acquitted by
The ACJC’s prosecutor claims that the commissioners have canceled 248 votes casted for Saleh Mohammad Saleh, a parliamentary candidate who was running for 2018 parliamentary election from Kunar province.
Upon an official order by the
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the ACJC launched a probe on the case albeit
Mr. Saleh had also filed separate lawsuit in the Attorney General’s Office.
Saleh claims that the three IECC
commissioners—in line with seven IEC commissioners—have cancelled 248 votes
casted for him. He claims that they have deliberately dropped him out the
winning list in the final result sheet, and instead, they have declared Ziaul
Rahman, another parliamentary candidate, a winner.
The primary court of ACJC has
sentenced each of the 10 commissioner to five years imprisonment just for
invalidating 248 casted for Saleh in four poll stations in Kunar province.
The commissioners, however,
denied the accusation, calling it baseless. They claim that as per confidential
letters by the NDS, Mr. Saleh has bought votes in 2018 parliamentary election. The commissioners refused claims made by the Attorney General
Office, and described its decision as a politically motivated move encouraged
by the leadership of the government.
The three IECC
commissioners say that they—in agreement with other commissioners from IEC—have
cancelled as many as 248 votes on the basis of evidences of fraud.
claim that AGO has made a biased and unjust decision in regard to cancellation
of votes in Kunar by the IEC.
to the law, at the first stage electoral crimes must be investigated by the
IECC and then the crimes shall be referred to judicial institutions for further
investigation. In Kunar case, however, the AGO has directly launched probe on
Dawlati, an IEC commissioner, laughed at prosecutor, during the trial when he
introduced the commissioners as offenders by referring to the article 92 of the
election law. Dawalati argued that the article was not even about the election
result as it was about the list of election nominees.
Hassan, another IEC commissioner, noted that the judicial institutions cannot
even open probe on the case as no crime was committed.
commissioner, Humaira Haqmal, noted that 90 percent vote share of Saleh should
have been cancelled as he had purchased votes.
electoral commissioners further said that Mr. Saleh must be prosecuted as he
had committed electoral crimes.
review, previously conducted by senior reporters of Etilaat-e-Roz, shows that
Afghanistan’s Attorney General’s Office has passed a partial and biased
judgment on cases of vote rigging in 2018 parliamentary election in Badakhshan
and Kunar provinces.