KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of Wolesi Jirga members on Monday said some of the Wolesi Jirga candidates over spent on their election campaigns, which they said was against the procedure.
The lower house members asked the electoral bodies to punish those violating the electoral law.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has defined the amount of money being used by candidates in each province. Kabul is the province where candidates’ spending on the electioneering is the highest and the least money is spent on the campaigns in central Logar province.
According to the IEC, candidates in Logar province should not spend more than 920,000 afghanis on their electioneering while in Kabul not beyond 2.65 million afghanis.
However, Erfanullah Erfan, deputy secretary of the Wolesi Jirga, told today’s session of the house that:, “I have evidence that a candidate has spent $200,000 on printing his photos alone.”
Without naming anyone, he said some government officials were also busy campaigning for some Wolesi Jirga candidates.
Sayed Ali Kazemi, a Wolesi Jirga member, agreed with Erfan’s account and asked the electoral commissions to investigate expenditures of candidates and misuse of government resources in favor or against any candidate.
Nazifa Zaki, a representative from Kabul, also said some candidates were spending a large sum of money on their campaigns. However, she did not name anyone.
She said candidates had printed a large number of portraits and banners and had installed them in cities. “A number of candidates with their windfall money try to bribe voters,” she said.
Amir Khan Yaar, second deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga, also expressed concern about high amount of expenditures on election campaigns and asked the electoral commissions to review the spending of candidates.
Sayed Hafizullah Hashemi, IEC spokesman, said spending on election campaign beyond the defined amount was an electoral violation. He said anyone who violated the election law would face legal action.



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