PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Some residents of northern Baghlan province have urged the provincial Independent Election Commission (IEC) office not to invalidate their votes cast in the Oct 20 Wolesi Jirga elections.
The residents of Khost and Baghlan-i-Markazi districts made the demand during a meeting with Baghlan governor Abdul Hai Nimati and other local authorities on Saturday.
A tribal elder Abdul Hakim Noorzai said votes cast in Baghlan province should be recounted. “We offered 13 lives on the election day and we don’t want our votes to be invalidated in the name of fraud and rigging.”
He warned the Baghlan security situation would worsen if the votes were invalidated.
Another resident JavedWalizada said: “We have gathered here to defend our votes and we met the governor and urged separation of transparent and fraudulent votes.”
Walizada said the provincial IEC office had completely failed to manage the vote counting process and feared powerful men might attempt to clear their fake votes at gun-point.
Other residents held similar views regarding the issue.
Governor Niamati said the IEC was responsible to address people’s concerns and convince them.
Provincial IEC Office director Abdul Qader Wahab Safi said they were counting votes as per the election law and regulations and no votes would be deliberately invalidated.
He stressed the need for transparency and invited people to watch with their own eyes the vote count process.

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