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“Deliberate abandonment of fraud allegations stymied 2018 parliamentary elections”

AT News

KABUL: Some election watchdogs are arguing that accusations of fraud which had marred the 2018 Parliamentary Elections had been treated politically in favour of the sitting parliament members.

They believe that favoritism in arbitration of election scams has tarnished public trust in elections and the justice system. They say the Attorney General Office has not yet finalized fraud cases even though 15 months have passed from the parliamentary elections.

CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan Yusuf Rasheed said that there is a need to see to these fraud cases in courts where a final decision will be issued.

A member of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan, Soghra Saadat, said, “We believed that a genuinely honest adjudication of fraud allegations could have brought fundamental changes to the face of the current parliament and many members would have been thrown out.”

This is as cases of fraud and vote-rigging in 2018 elections in Badakhshan have remained unresolved in the attorney general office for more than 8 months. Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan attach leadership inertia and political favoritism to this preposterous delay.

AGO has said the case had been sent to the court to initiate proceedings, but it was retrieved back for lack of evidence.

“This is a sheer transgression of the law and absolute corruption. There are other cases in the justice system which are unresolved,” said Subhan Mesbah, deputy head of Lawyers Association of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections were marred by large-scale fraud and electoral violations, which delayed the announcement of the results for six months. In the wake of accusations of fraud, president Ghani sacked all members of the election commission and referred them to the AGO. Election commissioners underwent two court trials so far, and then, the appellate court a fortnight ago sentenced 10 members of the election commission to 2.5 and 5 years of prison time.

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