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2 Pakistani nationals working in UNDP accused of derailing Wolesi Jirga polls; UNDP, IEC reject allegations

AT-KABUL: A local bilingual daily accused two Pakistani citizens, working at the ELECT-II project of the United Nations Development Project (UNDP), of sabotaging the upcoming Wolesi Jirga elections.

The UNDP’s Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT) project had been designed to help the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan to conduct parliamentary elections.

According to a news report published by the Daily Weesa, without mentioning source, the Pakistani nationals who are employees of the UN Development Project, Azhar Malik and Irfan Mahmood, are in the quest to delay and derail the upcoming polls.

The Pak origin staffers of the UNDP’s ELECT II project want to bring steady changes in the country’s electoral body, Weesa reported. As per report of the newspaper, the two persons also delayed announcement of the election schedule.

In accordance with the ELECT II project, the UN body provides support to the IEC through development of its human, organizational and technical capacity. The project advisors are embedded within the IEC. The advisors help the election commission with the development of all necessary electoral plans such as voter registration and the candidate nomination process.

When Afghanistan Times contacted the UNDP, the UN body rejected the allegations and said that it is a technical coordinator and collect donations from the international donors to help the IEC in conducting polls.

A high-ranking official at the UNDP, who wished anonymity, told Afghanistan Times the two Pak origin employees have no role in the decision making process.

IEC’s spokesman, Noor Ahmad Noor, in a telephonic interview with Afghanistan Times also rejected that report and expressed satisfaction in the UNDP’s plans.

He said the problems regarding conducting polls were shared with President Ashraf Ghani and the exact date for holding the parliamentary elections would be announced in the near future.

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