By: F. Makhdoom
KABUL: Fear of fraud and disorder in the vote counting process have concerned the presidential hopefuls who consistently ask the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to prevent any interference into its internal affairs and remain independent, free and transparent.
A number of foreign countries ambassadors have reportedly visited the computerized vote counting process and allegedly aiming to urge the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to ensure transparency in the process.
But a private newspaper Shahadat daily, belonging to the Hez-e-Islami Afghanistan led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar quoted the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) asking the IEC for clarification about the foreign ambassadors’ visit to the commission.
The entity as quoted by the paper said the visit by the foreign ambassadors to the IEC office or the process of vote counting was a clear interference in the internal affairs of the Afghanistan election process.
Earlier, a number of presidential election nominees have said some foreign countries ambassadors were interfering in the election process and asked the IEC to prevent their interference.
“The IEC has link with some foreign countries ambassadors and these authorities working for certain presidential candidates,” said a presidential hopeful, Rahmatullah Nabil, former Afghanistan NDS Chief.
He added that these ambassadors were trying to show the number of voters 3 million people, an increase comparing to that of less than 2 million announced by the commission earlier.
But, Hawa Alam Nuristani, chairwoman of the IEC said in a news briefing that some presidential election candidates were imposing pressure on the commission to soon announce the results, the Shahadat daily quoted adding some officials of US embassy has also visited the commission and that such issue has repeatedly happened, showing close relation between the IEC and foreign authorities.
“The IEC chairwoman has asked the NATO Civil Representative and the British ambassador to Afghanistan to prevent this,” said the paper quoting Hawa Alam Nuristani.
But, the FEFA Chief Executive Officer, Yousuf Rashid blamed the commission for illegal link with some foreign countries embassies and asked it for clarification about the issue.
“Sometimes, the country’s officials of the IEC are seen warm in negotiation with some foreign countries ambassadors. They should give details about their link with foreign embassies,” Rashid urged.
The CEO of the FEFA also called the IEC’s demand of cooperation for the reduction of pressures from some nominees on the commission a shame.
This is while, the leader of Hezb-e-Islami-Hekmatyar party has reputedly warned that his party would regroup and announce war, unless the election was valid and fair and process of vote counting was transparent.
“Let the process go forward with transparency, or my party would rearm supporters and fight the government,” Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of his party warned.
The party joined the government-led peace process, after long negotiation between the two sides few years ago.