Mixed reactions to Abdullah-led protest

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (TOLO News): The protest march initiated by Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team on Friday in Kabul was met with diverse reactions from both prominent leaders and the general public.

The roads were blocked for several hours, which irritated residents.

“I am an old man, what is the benefit of these protests? I came a long way by foot,” said Bashir, a resident of Kabul.

“There was no transport at all, and I came here from the Taimani area of Kabul to the Macroryan area by foot,” said Sadat, another resident of Kabul.

Large numbers of Kabul police and members of other security forces were visible on streets across Kabul.

Atta Mohammad Noor, the chief executive of the Jamiat-e-Islami party, called the leaders of the march “traitors” and said the IEC’s decision to finalize the election process should be respected.

“Whoever is taking part in creating the crisis, from wherever in Afghanistan, they should be considered traitors to the nation–whoever is disrupting the system…and disrupting people’s daily lives,” said Noor.

Meanwhile, Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for President Ghani, said the government has not interfered in the election process and he says that if candidates have complaints, they can pursue them in a legal way.

Sediqqi also stated that for the first time all the election commission members were selected by the 18 presidential candidates.

“If the presidential candidates have any complaints–the legal authority for handling complaints and protests is the (Independent) Election Complaints Commission,” said Sediqqi.

But Abdullah Abdullah warned of wider protests against the election commission in the other provinces.

“We expect there to be more protests in other provinces. For sure these marches will lead to an acceptable outcome for the Afghan people,” said Bashir Ahmad Tayanj, a member of Abdullah’s team.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has stated that it will not bow to such forces and that all the IEC decisions have been legal..

“The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has done all its work in accordance with the laws of the country, electoral law, bills and procedures,” said Sayed Esmatullah Mal, the deputy head of IEC operations.

Supporters of Abdullah in seven provinces have protested and halted the vote recount process at local electoral offices.

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The Frontier Post