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kabul
November 21, 2018
The Kabul Times

UNSC asks electoral commissions to ensure transparency of electoral process

The members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have welcomed the holding of Afghanistan parliamentary elections and stressed that the elections, which have been carried out under difficult security situation under full Afghan ownership, constitute an important moment in the democratic development in Afghanistan.
In a statement issued by UNSC, the members commended the participation and courage of Afghans, including the engagement of Afghan women in the elections both as voters and candidates, and reiterated their continued support for the Afghan Government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to develop sustainable democratic institutions.
They reiterated the important role of the Afghan electoral institutions, including the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission, and called on these institutions to redouble efforts to ensure the integrity, neutrality and transparency of the electoral process, including with regards to the detection and prevention of fraud and the observation of the tabulation and announcement of results.
The members also noted that voting in Kandahar was postponed due to recent security incidents, and emphasized the importance of having this voting take place.
They called on all stakeholders to engage with the electoral institutions and processes with patience and respect, to continue to refrain from civil disorder and any acts that incite imminent violence or lead to instability, and to channel complaints through the established institutional mechanisms in line with Afghanistan’s electoral laws and Constitution.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in their leading role in securing their country.
Meanwhile, Independent Election Commission has said that it has created data collecting center to count all ballots and identify fake votes from real ones. According to IEC officials, this center will be the hub where all information from around the country, related to the elections, will be assessed and reviewed and where data and results will be captured. 
Head of IEC Abdul Badi Sayyad dispelled rumors about vote rigging and said: “All allegations and rumors about changing the numbers are baseless, none of these employees are meddling as the material is scanned.” 
“Valid and invalid votes will be separated, the winner will be those who received the most votes from the people,” Sayyad added.
On the other hand, Independent Election Complaints Commission has said that over 11,000 complaints have been received from all 32 provinces by IECC during the parliamentary elections. Officials for IECC stressed that complaints have been distributed into 30 categories and decision would be made based on type of the complaints, saying that there was no particular concern in this regard and all complaints would be addressed.
Meanwhile, election watchdogs have also said that their observers registered hundreds of fraud and rigging cases on the election day.
It is worth mentioning that Kandahar residents were finally able to cast their ballots in this parliamentary election yesterday after waiting a week to cast their votes.
Suraya Raiszada

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