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
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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.


Pakistan PM Khan speaks with India’s Modi to congratulate him on election win

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pakistan PM Khan speaks with India’s Modi to congratulate him on election win

  • Modi shocked many with his decisive victory in this election
  • Tensions have flared between the two countries earlier this year

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to Narendra Modi and congratulated the Indian leader on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), both countries said on Sunday.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in the Lok Sabha elections in India,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The Prime Minister expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples.”
Tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed countries, flared in February with cross-border air strikes and a brief battle between fighter jets above Kashmir.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs confirmed Khan had called Modi on Sunday, adding the two leaders had discussed fighting poverty together.
“He (Modi) stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in our region,” the ministry added in a statement.