Afghan election complaint body says vote in capital Kabul invalid

Authorities have still not released complete results from the Oct. 20 parliamentary ballot, which saw chaotic delays that forced voting to continue into the following day. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018

Afghan election complaint body says vote in capital Kabul invalid

  • “There were serious outstanding problems in Kabul that could hurt the fairness, transparency and inclusiveness of the election”
  • More than a million votes were recorded in Kabul, accounting for about a quarter of the roughly 4 million votes cast nationwide

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Electoral Complaints Commission ruled on Thursday that votes cast in the capital Kabul during last October’s parliamentary election were invalid, citing fraud and mismanagement.
The ruling must be upheld by the Independent Election Commission, the body with overall authority over the ballot, which was marred by allegations of voter fraud, technical problems with biometric voter verification equipment and inaccurate voter lists.
“There were serious outstanding problems in Kabul that could hurt the fairness, transparency and inclusiveness of the election,” said Ali Reza Rohani, spokesman for the Electoral Complaints Commission.
More than a million votes were recorded in Kabul, accounting for about a quarter of the roughly 4 million votes cast nationwide. If confirmed by the IEC, the decision would call into question the validity of an election heavily pushed by Afghanistan’s international partners.
The recommendation to cancel the vote in Kabul also adds to uncertainty over the April 20 presidential election. Election authorities have said they are considering postponing the vote until July due to organizational difficulties.
Any delay to the presidential election could affect hoped-for peace talks with the Taliban, which have opened contacts with the United States but so far refused to talk to the government of President Ashraf Ghani.
Authorities have still not released complete results from the Oct. 20 parliamentary ballot, which saw chaotic delays that forced voting to continue into the following day.


Seven dead in mid-air collision in Mallorca

Updated 8 min 6 sec ago

Seven dead in mid-air collision in Mallorca

  • Everyone aboard the helicopter and light aircraft were killed in the accident

MADRID: Seven people including two children were killed in a mid-air collision between a helicopter and a light aircraft over Spain’s Mallorca island on Sunday, authorities said.
The two aircraft crashed over the central town of Inca at 1:35 p.m., the regional Balearic Islands government said.
Everyone aboard the two aircraft — two on the plane and five on the helicopter — perished in the crash, a police spokesman said.
A couple and their two children were aboard the helicopter along with the pilot.
The helicopter was registered in Germany, “which doesn’t necessarily mean the occupants were of this nationality,” he said, stressing that an investigation into the victims’ nationalities was still under way.
Police said the two aircraft crashed into a field.
Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands are popular with both Spanish and foreign tourists, especially in the summer season.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed condolences to the victims’ families, and said in a tweet that he was “following the news from... Mallorca with concern.”