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Politics

IEC begins audit & vote recount process in 7 provinces

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By: Lailuma Noori

Secretariat of Afghanistan Independent Election Commission has informed of officially starting the audit and vote recount process in seven provinces of the country.
Head of IEC secretariat Habib Rahman Nang said that the recount process of votes started in Jawzjan, Faryab, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Sar-e-Pul and Panjsher provinces at 10am in the morning.
The IEC on Saturday said the vote recount and audit process in the remaining seven provinces would begin Sunday and the presidential election’s preliminary result would be announced later this week.
Nearly 1400 voting boxes in the respective provinces need to be recounted and audited. Most of the ballot boxes are in Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces.
In Baghlan, 722 sites, while in Badakhshan, 322 sites need to be recounted and audited.
According to head of IEC secretariat Habib Rahman Nang, vote recount and audit process will end in three or five days and IEC will soon announce primary results of the Sep 28 Presidential Elections.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) tried to launch a ballot recount in November but Abdullah’s supporters halted the process by shutting down election centers in seven of the country’s 34 provinces, demanding that the IEC first invalidate about 300,000 “fraudulent” ballots.
Electoral watchdog agencies have said that the only way to legitimize results of the 28 Sep Presidential elections and prevent from any possible crisis is that Afghanistan Independent Election Commission should do all its work based on the election law. The electoral watchdog agencies also stressed that it was necessary that electoral bodies should act upon based on the election law and clarify its works in connection with cleansing of votes and announcement of the primary results through media, electoral watchdog agencies and electoral teams. Meanwhile, officials for Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC) say no frauds will happen in recounting process of votes, stressing on transparency in the process.
Hopes have increased now for announcement of results of the Sep 28 Presidential elections as vote recount and audit process has begun in seven provinces of the country. Announcement of the elections results have been postponed for the third time due to various reasons. Electoral watchdog agencies, the people and political experts say election-related concerns should end and be addressed as soon as possible.
More than two months after the September 28 presidential election, preliminary results have still not been announced by election authorities, officially due to technical problems, fueling allegations of fraud and more uncertainty in the war-torn country.
It is worth mentioning that the Presidential Elections were conducted on September 28 and the preliminary results of these polls are yet to be announced. 

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