Thousands protest in Kabul against alleged election fraud

Kabul : Thousands of supporters of presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah marched on the Kabul streets on Friday to protest alleged poll fraud committed to favor incumbent President Ashraf Ghani amid a delay in declaring preliminary results of the election held two months ago.

The protesters shouted slogans against Ghani and the country’s election commission, alleging that the poll body was counting hundreds of thousands of invalid votes polled on Sep.28 to help the president win a second term, Efe news reported.

The rallies began around 8 a.m.
(local time) from various parts of the Afghan capital and the marchers were headed towards the center of the city, Murtaza Eshraqi, a spokesperson for Abdullah’s electoral team, told EFE.

‘We demand that the election commission should act as per the law, and should stop its illegal decisions. Our main objection is against the counting of 300,000 fraudulent votes that should be invalidated,’ Eshraqi said.

The result of the September 28 vote was to be declared on October 19 but had to be postponed until November 14 due to technical problems.

The second deadline was also pushed back after Abdullah, one of the key candidates, protested the alleged fraudulent addition of votes to a planned recount by the Independent Election Commission.

According to the poll panel, out of 2.7 million votes polled, only 1.92 million were biometrically verified. Of these verified votes, 86,000 more were annulled because the ballots did not meet the required criterion set by the commission. (IANS)

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