KABUL (Pajhwok): Four unsuccessful female Wolesi Jirga candidates on Tuesday sewed their mouths in protest against fraud in the October parliamentary elections and warned of self-immolation if their demands were not addressed.
The Wolesi Jirga elections were held on October 20 and 21 nationwide except Ghazni and Kandahar provinces. The elections in Kandahar were held a week later.
A total of 24 failing candidates have been protesting by erecting a tent in Kabul, demanding the creation of a special court to deal with electoral fraud allegations.
Hailing from Helmand, Nangarhar, Maidan Wardak, Paktika, Logar, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan, Samangan, Herat and Kuchi tribe, they told a press conference at Zanbaq square in Kabul city that they did not accept the October election results announced by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
Farzana Farhamand, a protesting Wolesi Jirga candidate from northern Baghlan province, said they had been protesting for the past three months but so far no one addresses their demands.
She claimed the October 20 and 21 Wolesi Jirga elections were full of rigging and those having money and political relations made it to the nation’s home. She said those sitting in the protest tent had won the elections.
She said recently National Security Advisor (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib visited them and promised to address their issue, but he knew how fraudulent the elections were.
“Four of us have sewn their mouths and if the government does not address our issue within 48 hours, we would call on our supporters to close all general highways against traffic.”
Najiba Faiz Helmandi, another protesting candidate, said her name was omitted from the winners’ final list after IEC officials accepted bribes.
“We would have been declared winners had we paid bribes. We have enough evidence to prove IEC officials demanded money to forge the results.”
She said, “Today four of us, Dewa Niazai, Hela Mujtaba, Arizo Safi and Hadia Helmandi sewed their lips together and donated 500cc blood to yesterday’s attack victims in Kabul.”
The candidates warned of committing self-immolation if their demands were not addressed.
However, IEC officials did not comment regarding the 24 female Wolesi Jirga candidates but in the past they had said the protesting candidates could refer to relevant departments about their demands.
Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, IEC deputy spokesman, told Pajhwok they had already announced Wolesi Jirga results from certain provinces and the protesting candidates could approach the relevant institutions in this regard.
pk/ma

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