Afghan Election Commission to Start Recounting Votes
The IEC said that the vote recount will start on Monday, but there is controversy over some votes recently deemed invalid by the biometrics company Dermalog.
The Independent Election Commission on Sunday said that it will start the recounting of votes in 34 provinces on Monday.
The commission on Saturday released new vote numbers, saying that the Dermalog company had identified 1,843,107 valid votes out of the 1,929,333 votes already transferred to the commission’s central database.
But election observers—primarily from Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral team– did not accept the new statistics released by Dermalog and added that more than 137,000 originally-quarantined votes should not be included in the process.
According to Abdullah’s team, these 137,000 votes are fraudulent votes and they must invalidated. But the Election Commission said Dermalog will provide an explanation on the 137,000 votes in the next two days.
Critics say these 137,000 votes were sent to the commission’s database only one day after the elections, and that these votes are fake.
Regarding the recount, the Election Commission so far has not clarified which polling sites in which provinces will be recounted.
“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 votes are those votes which had photograph issues or they otherwise don’t meet the criteria,” said Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, a member of Abdullah Abdullah 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 Ashraf Ghani’s election campaign.
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