Major presidential tickets warn against vote rigging in Afghan elections

In a meeting held Wednesday, December 04, leaders of the three presidential tickets, Abdullah Abdullah, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and Rahmatullah Nabil warned that they would sabotage “any attempt” aimed at selecting a government through “vote rigging.”

The meeting was held in the residence of Karim Khalili, former vice president and an influential supporter of Abdullah in the 2019 presidential elections. Leaders of the tickets reiterated that they would take “a determining decision” if the Independent Election Commission (IEC) hesitated to abide by the law.

“The brave [Afghan] defense and security forces must maintain their impartiality regarding election related disputes,” the three presidential tickets noted in a joint statement. The statement also called on the international community to remain impartial and support transparency in the election process.

Describing the present politicians and leaders at the meeting as “major party of peace negotiations with the Taliban,” the statement also noted that the monopoly of individuals and a certain party on the peace process need to be ended – an implicit address to President Ghani and his team.

The warning statement is issued amid protests by Abdullah’s supporters in different parts of the country against what they describe “widespread and systematic fraud” in the 2019 Afghan presidential elections.

As the result of opposition by Abdullah’s supporters, the IEC has not been able to start the recount and audit process in seven provinces.

Spokesperson for the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, told Kabul Now on Wednesday, December 04, that supporters of the Stability and Partnership ticket led by Abdullah launched protests in the same across four provinces.

The protests were held in Parwan, Panjshir, Jowzjan, and Ghor provinces.

According to Tahyanj, supporters of the presidential ticket will launch their next protest on the coming Friday, December 06, in the central province of Bamyan.

Abdullah’s supporters have hitherto launched election protests across nine provinces demanding the IEC to invalidate around 300,000 votes cast without biometric verifications and beyond the voting time-limit set on the Election Day, September 28.