A senior aide to Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah alleges that the country’s recent presidential election is fraudulent.
Abdullah’s running mate for second vice president, Asadullah Saadati, made the accusation at a press conference on Saturday, claiming that “circles within the Independent Election Commission (IEC) are colluding with the State Building team and are trying to organize a systematic fraud.”
The State Building team is the campaign of Afghanistan’s incumbent President Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah’s main rival in the September vote.
“We assure the people of Afghanistan that we will not let anyone violate the election law, including the commission, and if the commission follows the law, we will stand beside them and if they violate the law, we will stand against them,” said Saadati.
The guarantee for accuracy is the biometric device, and the only valid votes are those processed through biometric devices, but for the past two days the IEC has been entering non-biometric votes into the system, which is contrary to the law as well as pre-election agreements, Afghanistan’s Tolo News further quoted Saadati as saying.
“Some people in the IEC are trying to enter fraudulent votes into the system and yesterday we noticed that the process of entering the fraudulent votes in the system was underway and if this process continues, our team will stand against any suspicious action,” he added.
Election officials have already urged all candidates to show restraint until preliminary results are out next week. But two days after the September 28 presidential election, Abdullah claimed victory against his rival Ghani. His declaration sparked criticism both at home and abroad.
Abdullah is seeking the presidency for the third time, after losing in 2009 and 2014.
Saadati also urged the IEC to be impartial in the election process.
“There are signs that the Election Commission will not be able to maintain their impartiality and we ask for honesty and transparency from them,” he said.
The September vote saw a low turnout. According to the election commission, at least 2.2 million people voted, almost one-fifth of the total registered voters.
The election, the fourth since the Taliban militant group was toppled in 2001, took place after peace talks between the militant outfit and the US collapsed last month.
Since October 2018, the Taliban’s Qatar-based political bureau has been engaged in a diplomatic process with Washington, but US President Donald Trump declared the talks “dead” on September 9, after the militant group carried out a bomb attack in the capital Kabul, where 12 people, including an American soldier, were killed.
The government had long been encouraging the militant group to come to the negotiating table. The Taliban, however, consider the government an illegitimate “puppet regime.”
Kabul had earlier said that it would only consider holding talks with the Taliban after the election.
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