Number of complaints soars to 568: Watchdog

KABUL (Pajhwok): The election watchdog on Monday said the number of complaints of irregularities during Saturday’s runoff vote had increased to 568, with 141 objections concerning Independent Election Commission (IEC) workers.
Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) spokesman Nader Muhseni told reporters 228 complaints were registered in provinces and 340 with the IECC’s main office in Kabul.
Of the complaints, 141 were against IEC workers -- a high percentage of the objections, he said.
After the April 5 elections, more than 5,300 IEC workers were sacked following allegations of fraud against them.
Muhseni said the IECC had registered another 183 complaints over the phone and these complaints would be used for information purpose only.  He said they had stopped receiving more complaints over the phone.
The complaints registered are about security forces’ interference, poor quality of election ink in some areas, threatening voters by candidates’ supporters, ballot stuffing, under age voting, taking ballot boxes to private houses and firing shots by illegal gunmen to disrupt election process in some areas, according to Muhseni.
Under the election law, registering complaints shall end at 12am on Monday night.
Muhseni said addressing the complaints in provinces would begin on Tuesday and would take 10 days to complete the process. After addressing the complaints, people could appeal against the judgment within 72 hours.
He said the number of complaints registered in the runoff election was less than those filed after the first round. “But it does not mean there was less fraud in the second round.”
Vowing transparency on their part, Muhseni said they would perform their job in accordance with the law. “Which is more important than anything else.”
More than seven million people participated in the runoff presidential election election on Saturday. Preliminary results are expected to be announced on July 5.

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