Protesting candidates reiterate demand for invalidation of votes

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Some unsuccessful Wolesi Jirga candidates on Monday demanded all Kabul votes to be invalidated and invited second vice president and the Independent Election Commission’s commissioners for debate on election irregularities.

Addressing reporters here, the Kabul Candidates Union termed the October 20, 2018 Wolesi Jirga polls as rigged and fraudulent and demanded the individuals who committed fraud during election to be tired.

Obaidullah Barakizai, a Wolesi Jirga candidate, said justice not prevailed in the Wolesi Jirga election and electoral rights of people had been violated. He demanded all Kabul votes to be invalidated.

He criticised the president by saying that President Ashraf Ghani often stressed on fight against corruption but why he had been silent over injustice and crimes committed during elections.

Mohammad Daud Kalakani, another protesting candidate, said: “We have gathered here to seek justice for public vote, stand against fraud and corrupt individuals to teach them a lesson that people stand against fraud and rigging.” He warned of widespread protest if their demand not addressed.

Maulvi Attaullah Faizani, another candidate, said: “I invite the second vice president and IEC commissioners for debate in order to protect the rights of people and unearth fraud and rigging.”

Few days back, Dozens of unsuccessful Wolesi Jirga candidates and hundreds of supporters have called for invalidation of votes cast in Kabul, asking the judiciary to prosecute corrupt election officials.

The protesters, who staged a rally from Khaleej Hotel to Independent Election Commission on Saturday evening, said all Kabul votes should be declared invalid due to widespread rigging and fraud.

While calling for re-election in the capital, the protesters chanted: “Where is my vote? Kabul ballots should be invalidated.” IEC members and other corrupt officials be put on exit control list and prosecuted, they added.

Irfanullah Irfani, Wolesi Jirga’s deputy secretary and a participant of the protest, said: “We have gathered for defending people’s right to vote for candidates of their choice.”

IEC Deputy spokesman Zabihullah Saadat told Pajhwok Afghan News that protester could refer to the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission against alleged rigging and fraud with prove and evidance.

He rejected the matter of bribery by commissioners and said the protesters could share such evidence with judicial organs. (Pajhwok)