Mistakes in 1st round won’t be repeated: IEC

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Tuesday promised mistakes during the first round of presidential elections would not be repeated in the runoff, insisting no government official would be allowed to interfere in the process.
Addressing a meeting on public awareness about the second round runoff slated for June 14, IEC Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said the commission had reviewed the problems and mistakes that occurred during the April 5 elections.
He said IEC officials had adopted serious measures to prevent a recurrence of those mistakes and problems in the second round and ensure the runoff was held in a transparent and acceptable manner.
He asked election observers not to limit their mission to urban polling sites alone and extend their activities to rural areas, inviting civil society activists to oversee the election process.
The runoff presidential vote is due between former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani on June 14. Abdullah topped the elections by collecting 45 percent of the votes cast and Ghani finished second with 31.6percent.
Amarkhel praised security forces for their performance during the first round, but asked security organs to sack officials who had misused their positions and interfered in the elections.
He said the IEC had sacked and replaced its staffers accused of committing fraud and law violations in the April 5 elections
Amarkhel said the IEC was responsible to conduct the elections and security institutes were duty-bound to maintain security.
IEC deputy chief, Abdul Rahman Hotaki, also confirmed there had been some problems in the first round
“We have repeatedly said that the elections are a national process, which is managed by the election commission, but the IEC needs people’s support to make this process a success,” he said.
Hotaki asked civil society organisations to help create awareness among the masses about the election process, besides playing their role as an observer.

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