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Election authority geared up for a partial recount

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KABUL: Election commission has said it is geared up for the conduct of a partial recount of contested ballots with the complaints tribunal already concluded its drawn-out investigations into myriad complaints alleging massive fraud in 2019 presidential race.

This is as the electoral complaints commission announced Saturday that it handed over its final decision about 300,000 controversial ballots to the independent election commission for implementation – despite a three-day delay in its proceedings. Spokeswoman Zarmina Kakar Haqjoo said Saturday that our decisions have been finalized and will be handed over to the election commission in an official letter, “probably by the end of today”.

The decisions pertained to 300,000 controversial votes – according to which, 10% of 137,000 suspicious ballots and 15% of 102,000 belated ballots will be recounted. If the recount ascertains that 65% of the retallied ballots lack validity, all the contests ballots will be invalidated and scrapped. Having biometric information, poll ledger and polling station result sheet are the criteria for ballots to qualify for validation.

Deputy Spokesperson of the Independent Election Commission, Mirza Mohammad Haqparast, has announced the authority’s preparation for implementation of the complaints tribunal’s decisions for recount. “We will begin the conduct of recount as soon as the complaints commission hands over its verdict,” he said.

Chief Executive for Free and Fair Elections of Afghanistan, Yusuf Rasheed, has said that any further delay could pave the ground for political opportunism. “In the light of delayed decision of the election panels, candidates and politicians will find a way to use this as an opportunity for their political maneuvering,” he said.

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