KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s Reform and Unanimity team on Wednesday claimed fraud had been committed in the runoff presidential election in southern Kandahar province and warned it would not accept the results if fraudulent votes were not thrown out.
The warning was issued at a gathering held at Abdullah’s campaign office in Kandahar City, the provincial capital. Nearly 300 members of the candidate’s team and supporters of the Jamiat-i-Islami party attended the meeting.
Kalimullah Naqibi, a campaigner for Abdullah and the Jamiat-i-Islami party deputy head, told the meeting that electoral fraud had been committed in Spin Boldak, Arghistan, Maroof, Shurabak, Mianshin, Ghorak and a number of other districts in favour of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
He said more votes had been polled in districts than the provincial capital, accusing the provincial administration, security organs and media representatives of siding with Ghani in the runoff election.
Naqibi asked the government and the two electoral bodies to ensure that fraudulent votes were separated from bogus ones; otherwise they would not accept the results.
Abdullah’s campaign office head Abdul Khaliq Kandahari also alleged fraud had been committed in favour of a particular presidential runner and they had collected evidence in this regard. He said if bogus votes were thrown out, Abdullah would emerge victorious.
One of the tribal elders attending the meeting, Hayatullah Shah Wali from the Shah Walikot district, said the Independent Election Commission was not impartial and was supporting Ahmadzai. He said the Reform and Partnership team would defend the votes of its supporters.
At the end, the meeting issued a statement that asked the IEC office in Kandahar to separate valid votes from invalid ones before announcing the results.
It stressed fraud-tainted IEC workers should be referred to judicial organs and legal action should be taken against security officials, district chiefs and others who had worked in favour of a particular candidate.
It urged the electoral watchdog to discharge its responsibility in cleaning out fake votes.
The meeting comes a day after Ashraf Ghani’s Change and Continuity team held a protest, which condemned Abdullah for what “insulting people’s votes” in provinces.
In Kandahar, Ghani’s campaign office head Haji Agha Lalai said they had never tried to commit fraud and instead more focused on checking fraud during the second round of presidential election.