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IEC ignores candidates’ boycotting of elections

AT News Report

KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) ignored presidential elections boycott by some of the candidates, emphasizing that the election would be held on September 28.

12 of 18 presidential candidates have warned of boycotting the election if the government did not bring reforms in the process in a week.

“We will make a decision on this today, but the election will be held on the scheduled day. All the preparations have been done and the date of election has also been announced. We don’t know about the boycott and we hope it is not true and the candidates start their campaigns,” said the commission’s deputy chairman, Esmatollah Mal on Monday.

Shahab Hakimi, one of candidates, said that he has not yet begun his campaign, adding that he would not attend the race if his demands were not met.

He also said that the election without a number of candidates would not be legitimate.

Separately, electoral watchdogs believe that the boycott of election by a number of candidates doesn’t affect the process.

“There is an article in the electoral law about refusal and it is mentioned in the electoral calendar. But the boycott is a political issue and doesn’t make legal troubles, but harms the process politically,” said Yousuf Rashid, head of the Free and Fair Electoral Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).

Incumbent President, Ashraf Ghani and two other candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Enatullah Hafiz, began their campaigns on the first day. Some of the candidates like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have said their campaigns began across the country.

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