IEC’s Abdullah ‘believes’ vote results by Nov. 14 ‘not possible’

KABUL (TOLO News): The deadline for the IEC to announce the results of the September 28 presidential polling is November 14, but Commissioner Mawlana Mohammad Abudullah told reporters on Friday he does not believe the commission will be prepared by then:

“Considering our working capacity, and the problems that we face, I believe that the announcement of the preliminary results (of the elections) will not be possible on Nov. 14.”

He also said that so far no practical actions have been made for the vote recounting process.

The presidential elections were held on Sept. 28. The announcement of the preliminary results was originally scheduled for Oct 19, but it was delayed due to technical issues and additional actions were necessary to maintain transparency, according to IEC officials.

But on Thursday, the head of the Election Commission’s secretariat, Habib-Ur-Rahman Nang, said IEC delegations had begun travel on Thursday to provinces to begin the recounting process.

According to Nang, the votes of 8,494 polling stations, out of a total of 26,000 polling stations, will be re-counted.

“We officially started the recounting process, our categorization is going on, our employees have been introduced, letters are signed, and financial issues are cleared,” the head of the Election Commission’s secretariat, Habib-Ur-Rahman Nang said.

This comes as Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral team protests the recount process, saying that around 300,000 votes are invalid, and a recount will be meaningless if these votes are not removed.

“Unless the real level of votes has not been established, the vote recounting process will not have any result—because in that situation the recounting process will have to be repeated for a second time, third time and even many more times,” said Muhammad Yunus Nawandish, an observer of Abdullah’s team.

However, the Independent Election Commission says that from the disputed votes, the 137,000 votes that were quarantined in the commission’s database were included in the election vote total after approval by the Dermalog company.

“The primary result is a raw result and raw information. They (Abdullah’s team) can share all their issues in every aspect with the Election Complaints Commission (ECC) after the preliminary results are announced,” Nang said.

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