Senators call for transparent vote count

KABUL (Pajhwok): Hailing Saturday’s presidential and provincial polls as a success, the Meshrano Jirga on Tuesday asked the electoral institutions to announce the outcome based on genuine votes.
Several members of the upper house commended Afghan forces’ tight security arrangements, which enable more than seven million people to cast their ballots in the landmark elections.
Baz Mohammad Zurmati, a public representative from southeastern Paktia province, urged the two poll commissions to tally the votes in a transparent manner and unveil the preliminary results.
“At the same time, I request the candidates to recognise the one having won the largest number of ballots and prevent the process going to the second round,” the senator added.
Under the constitution, a run-off election becomes mandatory if no runner polls 50+1 percent of the votes cast.
Zurmati alleged fraud was committed in certain areas, but the extent of rigging did not raise questions about the election’s credibility and legitimacy.
His colleague from Kabul Nisar Ahmad Haris said tight security measures had proven the Afghan forces’ capability. The successful polls also reflected the Afghans’ adherence to democratic values, he explained.
“The Afghans have full confidence in their security forces. This trust further increased when people saw the sacrifice of Afghan forces on the Election Day,” he remarked.
Haris suggested unofficial results should not be announced because they caused a sense of uncertainty among the people.
A Sikh representative in the Meshrano Jirga, Anar Kali Hunaryar, said widespread participation by the people in the polls showed that they were united against their enemies.
She also opposed predictions of results before the Independent Election Commission (IEC) published the final outcome.
“The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) should address complaints properly and people should respect any decision the panel makes,” Hunaryar remarked.
First Deputy Chairman Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, who chaired the session, also praised people’s active participation in the elections despite threats of attacks from Taliban and drizzly weather. 
While applauding the security forces’ role in making the democratic exercise a success, he urged the election commissions to unveil the results on schedule.

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