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Editorial: Polls controversy

 Once again like of past, controversy erupted overOctober 20, 2018 parliamentary elections in all over Afghanistan when theElectoral Complaints Commission couple of days back has termed all votes polledfor Kabul constituencies as invalid. According to complaints commissioner totalof 2,767 complaints were registered in Kabul, from where electorates have costvotes for electing 33 representatives to Wolesi Jirga. The complaintscommission while declaring the polled votes as invalid, diverted attentionstowards reports of massive fraud among others as a reason behind its decisionto invalidate Kabul votes, adding “There were serious outstanding problems inKabul that could hurt the fairness, transparency and inclusiveness of theelection.” Through such a decision, the complaint commission has declaredaround four million votes as invalid throughout the country, civil rightsassociation already made allegations pertained to using of black money, systematicfraud and other illegal, unlawful and unethical acts of getting/buying berthsin the lower house. Even the Election Commission personnel were also foundguilty in the election fraud in return of bribe and kick backs as well. And nowaccording to election commissions, the only remedy is the review the overallscenario. But one thing is very clear that amidst chilly cold, rough weatherand snow fall, arranging re-polling in Kabul will not be an easy task for theElection Commission, government and law enforcing agencies as well. ElectionCommission data reveal that over 800 candidates contested against each otherson 33 seats from Kabul and all these aspirants have consumed million ofAfghanis on their election campaign. And now it could be hard for some of themto afford more expenditure on their campaign or go for re-contest. In fact,Election Commission has already declared a schedule for the Presidential pollsin coming April. But the Presidential election is being held at the time whenthe US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad has expedited efforts for peace dealsand reconciliation. So far outcomes of renewed US Envoy efforts aresatisfactory whereas the Taliban Qatar Office is now on grounds for conditionaltalks with the US. Similarly, Pakistan which is the major stake holder has madesome shifts in its stances regarding Afghanistan. On such grounds, holding ofPresidential and re-polling for parliament berths in Kabul etc… could causehardships and confusion. Instead of going for making scattered the attentions,the Afghan government needs to realize its responsibilities of extendingmaximum support to the US peace mission. After ensuring induction of all Afghansegments, especially Taliban into political main stream, then traditionalassembly of Loya Jirga could be approached for amendments in constitutions. Theexisting electorates, constituencies and delimitation needs reforms andchanges. Unless addressing such anomalies, each and every elections inAfghanistan would generate criticism and confusions.

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