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Tue, Aug

Watchdog ready to address post-audit complaints

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IECboardThe Afghan-led election watchdog on Monday expressed its readiness to register complaints from presidential candidates against Independent Election Commission (IEC) decisions on the outcome of the ongoing vote audit.

The announcement comes after the IEC started invalidating bogus votes, as the audit exercise gained momentum. The normal audit concluded on Sunday evening while invalidation kicked off this morning in line with the UN-proposed criteria.

Independent Electoral Complaints (IECC) spokesman Nadir Mohseni told reporters in Kabul that the watchdog was fully prepared to register complaints from the candidates within 24 hours of the IEC’s decision on the audit and address them within 48 hours.

He hoped there would be fewer complaints because the audit was taking place in the presence of representatives of both the contenders and foreign and local observers.

Mohseni asked the IEC to carry forward all its activities in a transparent manner so that the candidates felt no need for lodging complaints.

He also urged the candidates to register their complaints on the basis of evidence and supporting documents in order not to waste time of the commission and help end the electoral process at the earliest and allow the IEC to release the final result in the stipulated time.

President Hamid Karzai has ruled out further delay in the announcement of the final result from the June presidential runoff. He said there was no chance of further extension in the date set for the new president’s inauguration, scheduled for September 2.

Mohseni said the people of Afghanistan wanted their candidates to make efforts at concluding the electoral process without further delay to resolve the economic, political and security crises stemming from the impasse.

The IECC spokesman also said they would start next week announcing the outcome of complaints registered against the preliminary provincial council results.

The provincial council elections were held simultaneously with the first round of the presidential election but final result from the April vote is yet to be announced.