Neighbours meddling in elections: MPs

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Meshrano Jirga members on Sunday accused Pakistan and Iran of meddling in Afghanistan’s presidential elections, asking the administration to frustrate their attempts.
None of the eight presidential runners obtained the required 50 plus one percent of votes cast on April 5, forcing a runoff between two top vote winners Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. The runoff is due on June 14.
Behram Khan Chamkani, who represents southeastern Paktia province in the Senate, told the upper house Pakistan had distributed money to some people in remote parts of Afghanistan to create problems during the second round of elections.
However, he did not produce evidence in support of his claim. The lawmaker said the government should come up with measures to prevent Pakistan from interfering in the polls.
His colleague from eastern Kunar province, Rafiullah Haideri, said Pakistan and Iran had handed cash to a number of people for boosting one particular presidential candidate.
However, he neither named the runner nor the individuals having received money from the two countries.
Haideri also said the Independent Election Commission (IEC) should dismiss its staffers found guilty of committing fraud in the first round of elections.
The IEC has said it had referred nearly 3,000 staffers to the judicial organs after accusations of electoral fraud.
The Senate also discussed security arrangements being put in place for the runoff election.
Hindu and Sikh minority representative, Anar Kali Hunaryar, said the armed opposition had launched a last-ditch effort to derail the runoff vote.
“They did not reach their targets in the previous round, but are bringing into use all resources available to them to disrupt the upcoming vote,” she claimed.
Hunaryar called on security organs to adopt extraordinary measures for the runoff race as they did in the first round. She also asked the IEC to try its workers accused of fraud.
Similar views were expressed by other members.  Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, however, urged the members not to expresses such views regarding the elections in general sessions.
“The commissions should let us do our job, which is observation. We should avoid raking up so many issues.” He urged the masses to enthusiastically take part in the runoff the way they did in the first round on April 5.

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