June 14 runoff vote to cost $18m: IEC

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday announced printing 15 million ballot papers for the runoff polls, a process that is estimated to cost more than $18 million.
Based on final results, former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah remains on top with more than 45 percent of votes. World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani finished second with 31.6percent of the ballots cast.
Most of materials for the second round of elections had already been arranged and efforts were underway for their transportation to provinces, IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told journalists in Kabul. 
He assured there would be no security and other such problems as seen in the first round of elections at some polling centres. He said 19,700 polling centres were opened in the first round, but the figure would increase to 24,000 in the runoff.
He estimated the runoff polls would cost $18 million, an amount already submitted to the commission. A series of meetings had been held with various security departments to eliminate possible threats.  
About 3,300 employees of the commission who failed to demonstrate impartiality would be blacklisted and fined under the law, he promised.
“Involvement of commission workers in fraud is a criminal offence; such cases will be referred judicial organs,” Noor continued.
In order to ensure transparency, IEC plans to hold a meeting with the presidential runners to ascertain their views. Both candidates will be urged to avoid fuelling tribal and linguistic differences. 

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