An election observer organization and parliamentary candidates cast doubt on the head of Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Badakhshan province as he has left the country for 20-day leave but he has not returned so far.
Marwa Amini, a spokesperson for Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), said it is believed that Sayed Rohullah Musawi has “escaped”.
“They (IEC) said that he (Musawi) is on leave, but his leave is over and the commission has not been accountable in this regard. In addition, head of Kunduz’s commission has also disappeared,” Amini said.
Musawi had asked the IEC secretariat in a letter to approve his leave from December 22, 2018 up to January 10, 2019.
This comes as some candidates still continue their protests on what they call widespread fraud and irregularities in parliamentary elections in Badakhshan.
Badakhshan candidates claimed that Musawi has “embezzled” salaries of the commission’s employees. Badakhshan IEC staff members also said they have not been paid for the past few months.
“Ten months has been passed since the project ended. We visit the commission, but so far, we have not been paid,” said Zabihulla, an IECemployee in Badakhshan.
“The money has not been transferred to us. This money is paid by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program). The UNDP says that when the main person comes, and his identity is recognized, then they will pay the staff,” said Ghulam Jan Anwari, acting direct of IEC office inBadakhshan.
The IEC’s deputy spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, meanwhile, said Musawi has went out of the country for vacation, but now they do not have any information about his whereabout.
“I said he is on leave, but again we will investigate the matter to find out where he (Musawi) is and what he is doing,” Ibrahimi reiterated.
The Attorney General’s Office said their investigation is ongoing on fraud allegations against Kunduz IEC chief, who is believed that have left the country to “escape the allegations”.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, so far, 232 people including 22 employees of the election commission have been arrested in 19 provinces in relations to electoral crimes.