Kabul, Nov 4 The Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan will on Monday begin the recounting of votes cast in the September 28 presidential elections across all the 34 provinces of the country.
The recounting comes after biometrics company Dermalog had recently deemed some of the votes as invalid, reports TOLO News.
On Saturday, the IEC had released new vote numbers, saying that Dermalog had identified 1,843,107 valid votes out of the 1,929,333 ballots already transferred to the Commission’s central database.
“The Council of Presidential Candidates believes that if there is even one fraudulent vote and someone makes his way to the President’s office with that fake vote-this will not, of course, be acceptable,” said presidential candidate Shahab Hakimi.
“There are another 100,000 votes which need to be invalidated. Another 50,000 to 70,000 are those votes which had photograph issues or they otherwise don’t meet the criteria,” said Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, a member of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign.
“This was a technical failure of the Commission and this has been resolved, and no one should call it fraud,” said Qader Hoodkhel, a member of incumbent PresidentAshraf Ghani’s election campaign.
The pressure on the Commission has increased in the last few weeks with reports of fraud and the technical issues the system faced.
With 15 candidates, during the last few weeks, the counting has been interrupted due to allegations and obstacles by the team of major aspirants, including Ghani and Abdullah.
Days after the voting took place, both teams claimed victory in the elections.
While the rest of the candidates questioned the legitimacy of the votes given the low voter turnout.
Of the 9.6 million registered voters, only 2.7 million took part in the elections, making it the lowest attendance since the democracy was established in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 with the US invasion.