Nearly 6,000 complaints against Afghan vote: Watchdog

Last Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 21:21

Kabul: An Afghan election watchdog has
registered almost 6,000 complaints following last month`s
parliamentary poll, around half of which could affect the
final results, an official said on Thursday.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has already
thrown out 1.3 million votes amid concerns about fraud in the
September 18 poll, the second of its kind since the overthrow
of the Taliban in 2001.

The cancelled votes account for more than 23 percent
of the ballots cast.

Ahmad Zia Rafaat, a spokesman for the Electoral
Complaints Commission (ECC) a UN-backed election watchdog,
said his organisation received nearly 6,000 complaints about
irregularities and fraud since voting day.

"From the election day to date we have received 5,971
complaints," Rafaat told reporters, putting around 2,500 of
the complaints in the most serious category of potential
irregularities known as "group A".

He said 70 percent of the objections had been
processed.

If the complaints are upheld they would change the
results of the ballot by potentially forcing the cancellation
of the affected votes.

The IEC announced preliminary results earlier this
month. The final outcome is not expected before early
November. About five million people voted in the election,
which was marred by Taliban violence.

An Afghan independent election monitoring body
meanwhile demanded "transparency" in the post-election
process.

"The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan
(FEFA) expressed concern regarding the recounting and
exclusion of ballots from the September 18 parliamentary
elections," it said in a statement.

It called on "electoral institutions to demonstrate
greater transparency as the 2010 electoral process enters its
final weeks".

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 21:21

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