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Top IEC official arrested on bribery charges amid election turmoil

KABUL: A top election commission official has been arrested on bribery charges, claimed some members of parliament, amid an elongated voter tally of October 20 elections.

Lawmakers said Saturday that operational director of the Independent Election Commission, Obaidullah Niyazi had been arrested by the National Directorate of Security over alleged bribery.

Khost representative, Mirbat Khan Mangal, raised the matter in question and commended the government’s action against the IEC official. “Niyazi solicited money from parliament candidates to have them win the election,” he said.

He claimed he had sufficient evidence to prove that Niyazi took money from some candidates including some from Khost to support them with fraud votes.

He said individuals who offered bribe to Niyazi for election rigging should be identified and punished. He termed the Wolesi Jirga election full of fraud and asked the IEC to separate transparent votes from fraudulent votes.

Second deputy speaker Amir Khan Yar said the arrest of Niyazi was a positive move in the fight against corruption. He asked the NDS to continue criminal proceduresand resist pressures to release Niyazi.

Zabihullah Sadaat, deputy IEC spokesman, said he was unaware of Niyazi’s arrest and added the commission would declare its position till the end of the day in this regard.A reliable source in the NDS also declined to confirm Niyazi’s arrest and added the organization would release a press statement if any arrest had been made.

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