KABUL: Afghanistan’s electoral complaints commission said Sunday it has identified more than 3,272 election offences out of thousands of complaints that could possibly lead to a runoff vote.
Primary results of Afghanistan’s controversial presidential race were announced two weeks ago after over three months of drawbacks over allegations of fraud and vote rigging. Overlooking petitions to scrap over 300,000 controversial votes, state election authorities tallied all ballots and reported that Ghani was the frontrunner with more than 50% of the 1.8 million votes. Chief Executive Abdullah who had almost 39% has been challenging the result claiming his rival Ghani had manipulated the polls and stuffed thousands of ballots including one third of his tallied vote.
The results followed piles of complaints flooding the complaints commission, which launched a major classification of all filed grievances. An aggregate of 16,500 complaints had been filed to challenge the primary output of presidential election.
Head of the commission, Zohra Bayan Shinwari, said Sunday that 1,370 complaints have been categorized as electoral violations, 4,300 electoral delinquencies, and 3,272 electoral offences.
The offences will immediately be brought to the attention of the justice system and the offenders will be prosecuted, she said.
A majority of grievances – 6,880 – are related to a discrepancy between biometric-based votes and the result sheet. Others are related to gratuitous invalidation of voting stations, suspicious ballots and etc.
The next phase, according to Shinwari, is to adjudicate the complaints, which the commission has already started preparations.
The commission is facing a challenge to adjudicate all the complaints within the stipulated time of 15 days. The commission’s head however doesn’t downplay possibility of a slight delay of one or two days in the process in some provinces considering the magnitude of complaints.
Statistics show that the frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah’s team had filed 5,564 complaints, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 3,711 complaints, the incumbent Ashraf Ghani 3,300 complaints.