IEC to recount votes in 1817 polling stations

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, October 16, Mawlawi Din Mohammad Azimi, deputy head of the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC), said the IECC have reviewed 4,500 cases of election complaints that were filed to the IECC for investigation. He underlined the deadline for review of electoral complaints was over.   

The statement came while the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) today, Thursday, October 17, reportedly put back announcement date of preliminary election result. The IEC said the preliminary election result—which was scheduled to be announced on October 19—will be announced on October 26, 2019.    

Mr. Azimi said after assessment of complaints the IECC canceled votes cast in 77 polling centers.

According to Mohammad Qassim Elyasi, spokesperson for the IECC, the complaint commission have 37 working days to assess the complaints registered with provincial and central offices of the IECC. He added that the IECC’s provincial offices have assessed nearly 4,528 cases of electoral complaint.

But Azimi noted that they have assessed over 4,362 complaints and 166 complaint cases are still under assessment by provincial offices of the IECC.

He said evaluation of 1,780 complaint cases were rejected as there were not enough evidences to support assessments. He added that as many as ‘179 exceptional complaints’ were registered with the provincial offices. The exceptional complaints should be assessed by the central office of the IECC in Kabul, according to Azimi.

He highlighted that 907 complaint cases were referred to judicial institutions for further investigations.

The Independent Election Complaint Commission announced that it has fired eight personnel and fined 54 other staffs over substantiated charges of violation of the election law.      

Qutbuddin Roydar, a commissioner on the IECC says most complaints have registered in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Balkh, and Kandahar provinces. But reports by Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN) suggest a low turnout and pervasive election fraud in Zabul province.

On the other hand, a group of political parties issued a statement today, October 17, asking the Independent Election Commission to count those non-bio-metrically verified votes that have voting sticker and are registered in data center of the commission.

The statement is made while IEC authorities have repeatedly said that the IEC only counts bio-metrically verified votes.        

Afghanistan held its fourth presidential election on September 28 in which 13 candidates, including the incumbent president Ashraf Ghani and his chief executive Abdullah Abdullah contested.

According to an estimated figure released by the IEC, 2,695,890 Afghans turned out on the Election Day to elect a new president.