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Protesting candidates say their mandate stolen

KABUL (Pajhwok): Protesting provincial candidates and their supporters on Tuesday staged a rally in Kabul, accusing the election commissions of fraud and asking court to take action against those involved in vote rigging.

Attended by 250 people including 20 provincial candidates, the rally was held in front of the United Nations Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) office. The protestors blocked the busy Kabul-Nangarhar highway.

Rafiullah Gul Afghan, who was announced winner in the preliminary results but his name was removed from the final list, said: “Those who did not have 500 votes have won the election but a candidate with more than 4,500 votes failed.”

Afghan accused the poll bodies, especially the Independent Election Commission (IEC), of embezzlement and illegal purchase of armored vehicles. He said they would continue their protest until their rights were granted.

He did not name any election official involved in corruption, but said those who betrayed the nation should be taken to task. Afghan asked the government to create a special court to probe candidates’ complaints and investigate the election officials.

He said there he had documents of corruption by the election commission in favour of some provincial candidates and evidence would be shared with the media.

Another failed candidate, Abdul Qayyum Ilmi, said their objective was to ensure justice and pave the way for candidates getting their rights. “The election commissions have insulted Afghans with their poor performances.”

He also asked the government to take the corrupted officials to task. Ilmi claimed some runners were announced winners by their friends in the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

Another candidate Musa Khan said: “Our votes have been stolen; we are protesting here so UNAMA, which will hear our voice.” He said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Abdullah had also struggled to obtain his right.


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