Afghan body invalidates all Kabul votes in October parliamentary election
Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has declared that all votes cast in Kabul Province during the country’s October parliamentary election are invalid.
IECC spokesman Ali Reza Rohani said during a press briefing in the capital Kabul on Thursday that the decision was made for different reasons, including major fraud and mismanagement by the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC).
"There were serious outstanding problems in Kabul that could hurt the fairness, transparency and inclusiveness of the election," media outlets quoted the spokesman as saying.
He went on to say that hundreds of complaints had been filed about voting irregularities in the Afghan capital and surrounding areas of Kabul Province.
Figures show over a million votes were recorded in Kabul, accounting for about a quarter of the roughly 4 million votes cast nationwide. Lawmakers who represent Kabul Province have 33 of the 250 seats in Afghanistan’s lower chamber of parliament, the Wolesi Jirga.
The ruling must be upheld by the IEC, the body with overall authority over the ballot. If confirmed by the IEC, the decision would call into question the validity of the election.
The elections were already marred by allegations of voter fraud, technical problems with biometric voter verification equipment and inaccurate voter lists. Authorities have still not released complete results from the Oct. 20 parliamentary vote, which saw chaotic delays that forced voting to continue into the following day.