GARDEZ (Pajhwok): As rumor has it, some Wolesi Jirga candidates allegedly gave people ‘fake currency notes’ to buy their votes during the Oct 20 parliamentary elections in southeastern Paktia province.
The claim has been making the rounds on social media. A resident of Dand Patan district has posted a video of himself on his Facebook page. The social media user claims he and his relatives voted for candidates and sitting lawmakers Nawab Mangal and Gul Pacha Majidi in return for $200.
The man says when he visited a moneychanger to convert the dollars to the afghani, the moneychanger told him the dollar notes were fake.
He said the moneychanger also threatened to hand him over to police over the fake currency notes.
There has been no official response to allegations of some Wolesi Jirga candidates that their rivals offered money to people to buy their votes.
Among these candidates is one Mohammad Naeem Ahmadzai, who alleges some candidates gave money to people. However, he has said nothing about fake money.
“The incumbent Wolesi Jirga members who are seeking reelection would come in their cars to the polling stations and would ask a person to show them ballot paper tick marked to their names in return for 2000 afghanis each.”
A candidate’s female agent at a women’s polling station in Clinic area of Dand Patan district said candidates used every tactics to obtain votes.
She told Pajhwok that she had heard from people that some candidates offered money to buy votes against a handsome amount.
She claimed to have seen female election workers deceiving female voters into casting their votes for another candidate.
Mohammad Rahman Qaderi, a member of the Paktia provincial council, also claimed sitting MPs seeking reelection used every means to collect votes.
Qader said they had shared evidence and documents regarding fraud in the elections with the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.
He said five sitting lawmakers who enjoyed government’s support had committed widespread fraud in the elections.
But the sitting MPs and candidates, Nawab Mangal and Gul Pacha Majidi, rejected they had given fake money to people to buy their votes.
Mangal called the video a conspiracy and said he had not given money to anyone.
IECC head for Paktia Hidayatullah Asmati said they had so far registered about 500 complaints and they had started investigating them.
He confirmed there were also complaints candidates paid money to people.

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