MPs, public reps defend votes cast in southeast


KABUL (Pajhwok): Lawmakers and provincial council members from southeastern provinces on Thursday rejected claims that votes cast in their provinces during last week’s presidential runoff election outnumbered eligible voters.
Members of both houses of parliament and public representatives belonging to Khost, Logar, Paktia and Paktia told a press conference in Kabul that some circles were out to discredit the votes polled by residents of the four provinces on June 14.
Wolesi Jirga member from Khost Kamal Nasir Osoli said the people of Loya Paktia --- a region comprising Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces --- had shown their determination under Afghanistan’s laws by casting their votes in the presidential election. But some elements were trying to bring under question the legitimacy of their votes, he said.
“Some individuals portray the populations of these four provinces fewer than the votes cast, but the claim is far from reality and aimed to mislead the people for political gains,” the lawmaker said.
According to the National Solidarity Programme, Osoli said the population of Khost was one million and 433,000 individuals, of Paktia one million and 320,500 individuals, of Paktika one million and 380,000 individuals and of Logar one million and 223,000 individuals.
The lawmaker said the Independent Election Commission had sent 439200 ballot papers to Khost, 451200 to Paktia, 512400 to Paktika and 237600 to Logar.
He said fewer votes had been cast than the ballot papers sent to these provinces, where people had widely participated in the election despite insecurity.
Osoli said religious scholars in the four provinces had also played a major role encouraging people to take part in the decisive round of the presidential election.
Abdullah’s team has repeatedly claimed that votes cast in some provinces exceeded the number of eligible voters.

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