KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of protesting Wolesi Jirga candidates belonging to Kabul and Takhar province on Sunday demanded invalidation of votes cast in the two provinces and reelections.
Forty protesting Wolesi Jirga candidates told a joint a press conference here that the October elections to the lower house of parliament were fraudulent.
Seddiq Mansoor Ansari, a protesting candidate from Kabul, criticized the government and the international community for ignoring protests being staged by candidates. He said candidates who paid heavy bribes were announced as winners. “We will keep protesting until we are given our right,” he said.
Erfanullah Erfan, another protesting candidate from Kabul, asked the government to invalidate all Kabul votes and conduct the polls again.
Safia Seddiqi, another candidate, said the Wolesi Jirga polls were massively rigged and asked the government and the election commissions to conduct the elections again.
“If there is no budget for re-elections then those who involved in fraud should be punished,” she said.
The protestors in their resolution letter said they had provided all evidence and documents about law violations and fraud in the elections to the Presidential Palace, Chief Executive Officer, the Independent Electoral Complains Commission (IECC), intelligence agency, UNAMA, EU and the Attorney General Office, but no action could be taken so far.
 “We renew our commitment to standing against any type of injustice and to staging wider civil protests for this national cause and will avoid participating in such engineered polls in future until our demand for invalidation of all votes of Kabul is accepted,” the letter read.
On the other hand,  a number of protesting candidates from Takhar province arrived in Kabul and criticized what they said widespread fraud in the Wolesi Jirga elections in the province and asked for audit of votes from 219 polling sites and recount of votes from 453 other sites.
Abdul Khalil Bizhan Parsa, one of the protesting candidates from Takhar, told a press conference, “The IECC had earlier ordered the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to audit the votes of 219 sites and recount them at 453 other sites, but the IECC branch for Takhar is yet to do so.”
He criticized former election commissioners and said if they had not been corrupt, they would not have been introduced to the AGO for investigation.
“If the current election commissioners do not want to face the fate of their predecessors they should listen to our voices and invalidate all votes,” he said.
Parsa talking on behalf of other protesting candidates from Takhar warned of wider protests if their requests were ignored.
Mirza Mohammad Haqparast, IEC spokesman, said the final election results of Kabul were under process in the IECC and would be announced when referred to the IEC.
About Takhar, he said the final results of Takhar were announced a week earlier and making changes to the results was impossible.
About the protesting candidates’ demand of invalidation of votes and reelections, Haqparst said reelections were not the authority of election commissions, but the Supreme Court in cooperation with the election bodies should decide on such issues.

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