MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Protesting Wolesi Jirga candidates and their supporters in northern Balkh province have demanded the local Independent Election Commission recount votes cast in the province ahead of final results.
They alleged some candidates offered huge sums of money in bribe and other used political influence to force their way into the Wolesi Jirga.
Mohammad Abduhu, a Wolesi Jirga candidate whose name was not among the list of winners, told reporters in front of the IEC office in Mazar-i-Sharif that injustice had been done with him.
In presence of thousands of supporters, he said the government spent money and used resources to purchase biometric devices, but many votes that missed biometric verification in Balkh were counted as valid.
He also alleged some individuals offered bribes and struck political deals with the commission to be declared winners.
The failing candidate said the masses fully participated in the Oct 21 polls despite many problems and challenges, but unfortunately their vote was not respected.
Another candidate Dr. Matin also accused the IEC of fraud and rigging and said people would not recognize candidates who used illegal means to be their representatives in the lower house.
“We are not here because we failed to make it to the Wolesi Jirga but have assembled because it is the question of transparency and fairness of election,” he said.
He demanded prosecution of individuals who harmed the election process by committing fraud.
Matin said individuals who never served the province in the past eight years while in power had once again succeeded to the lower house.
He added 800 complaints had been registered on the election day but the complaints commission was yet to address them.
Sorya Bawar, another candidate who is also not among the winners, alleged bribe and political deals marred the Wolesi Jirga elections in Balkh.  She said the people should come forward and defend their clean votes.
Balkh IEC head Ezzatullah Arman pledged to resolve all issues raised by the protesting candidates.
He said the demands of the protesting candidates had been registered and steps for their solution would be taken soon.

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