The provincial office of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission’s (IECC) has referred an election fraud case to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in Herat which involves officials of Independent Election Commission (IEC) in the province.
A team which was assigned by the IEC to oversee the recounting of votes in Herat is also among those officials who have been added in a list sent to the AGO office by the electoral complaints commission.
“We informed the provincial department of the Attorney’s General Office about the violations happed in Herat elections. Officials of Herat election commission, especially the leadership team who are leading the commission, are accountable. We identified the crimes and shared them with the office,” said Freshta Hisham, the IECC chairperson in Herat.
She said tens of thousands of votes have been announced invalid in the province due to “widespread fraud”.
Herat’s election commission officials meanwhile said there is no evidence which proves IEC officials and senior employees were involved in fraud.
“These issues have not been assessed correctly, but they have accused officials and they were referred to attorney general’s office. How is it possible that they damage reputation of officials and employees of an office while the issue yet to be specified and while there are not enough documents and evidence?” asked Ahmad Shah Qanooni, Heart IEC chairman.
Meanwhile a number of protesting candidates in Herat welcomed the move by the electoral complaints commission and said the votes cast without biometric should be announced invalid.
“In fact they have stepped on Afghanistan people courage. They have played with the clean votes of the people. They should be accountable, should appear in open trial and should be subjected to punishment,” said Basir Ahmad Danishyar, a protesting candidate.
“The attorney general’s office will do its job. They should be punished based on the violations they have committed,” said Ghulam Yahya Alokozay, a protesting candidate.
The new decision by IECC comes as over 100 candidates in Herat have held sit-in protest in front of the election commission office over the preliminary results of the elections.