KABUL: There is no way to complete election process and to resolve ongoing electoral issues, except to pursue legal procedures and to respect decisions of election bodies, chairman of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IEC) said on Sunday.
While addressing first open meeting of the commission to assess electoral appeals, chairman of the IECC, Abdul Satar Sadat, said that no other way is exited to end ongoing electoral disputes, but to respect legal procedures of the electoral bodies including the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and IECC as well as to pursue legal channels. He asked the presidential candidates to address the electoral cases and issues through legal channels which are IECC and IEC. He urged the presidential runners to restrain from following illegal political approach and other ways that would not yield any results.
“On our part the process is completed, election held, complaints registered, appeals were lodged and on first night of the process both candidates were satisfied from the process. Now it’s up to the both candidates how they are taking advantage of their legal rights to defend their complaints and decisions of the commission,” he added.
He continued, “When we engage in a democratic process, then we should respect all its procedures and norms as well.”
He warned that no one can impose its illegal demands on electoral commissions. While dismissing formation of any technical and political committees by both camps of candidates and other organs, he said that it is duty of the IECC and IEC to separate fake votes from real votes.
He called on the IEC to respect its sovereignty and work independently and not let the government, national and international organizations to illegally interfere in the legal procedures of the commission. “Slowly the cooperating roles of the government and UN is being changed to meddling and the IEC should prevent such illegal interferences.”
While starting assessment of the appealed complaints, publicly, from north-western provinces he said, the commission has officially informed both camps to attend the public sessions and defend their complaints. “If any of the two camps don’t want to attend our sessions it’s their right and we cannot force them”. The north-western region includes Samangan, Balkh, Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul and Faryab provinces.
In total around 299 complaints were lodged in north-western provincial offices of the IECC. Out of which in two cases the ballots were invalidated, in three cases violators were issued warnings, seven cases were cash fined, eight cases were exceptional and the remaining 279 cases were rejected because of lack of evidences and supporting documents.
The recorded complaints mostly involved ballot stuffing in favor of certain candidates, interference of powerful individuals, shortage of ballot papers, and postponement in opened polling centers and a pile of other complaints recorded in the said provinces.
He ensured all candidates, parties and public of processing all complaints through a transparent and aboveboard session. He said that the alleged complaints about fraud and violations were recorded against presidential candidates’ camps, IEC workers, warlords and local powerful individuals.
The complaints reported by candidates, parties’ representatives, observers and voters to the IECC, he concluded. Sadat said, “Everyone from both candidates’ camps, international organizations, observers of civil societies can attend our public sessions”.