The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday reacted to the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission’s (IECC) decision to discard all votes where voter details had not been captured on the biometric system and said the IECC does not have the authority to make such a decision.
On Saturday, IECC spokesman Ali Reza Rouhani held a press conference and talked about irregularities in the elections process and said they would declare votes cast without biometric details as invalid.
The IECC also issued a statement, which had six articles, about the elections. Elections were held on October 20 and 21 around the country and in Kandahar on Saturday. The only province that has not yet voted is Ghazni.
IEC spokesman Sayed Hafizullah Hashemi reacted to the IECC’s remarks and said such remarks and decisions are against the law and can be construed as interference in the election commission’s affairs.
Hashemi said the IECC does not have the authority to make such decisions.
“Some of the articles of the statement that the complaints commission declared are obviously against the law and an interference in the main activities and authorities of the election commission. They do not have the authority to issue such a statement and based on the agreement between us and the IECC, they should implement any procedures that we approve and they should not just do what they want to,” said Hashemi.
The IEC opened an information and data collection center on Wednesday where IEC staff are currently busy checking through the results that have come in from the provinces.
“We classify the packets (of information with ballot boxes) that come from provinces. We open them (the results) and check them to find out if they have any problems. Those packets that do not have any problems, get scanned and those with problems are sent to the filtration section,” Khayber Saeedi, head of the packaging section said.
“If they (result papers) have any problems, we write them down and send to management,” Wahidullah Noori, a senior IEC official said.
A number of observers from political parties and civil society organizations, who are monitoring the data collection process, said they are not happy with the process.
“They do not allow us to see up close which provinces have what problems. We are not here to simply watch,” Ahmadi, an observer, said.
According to the election commission, so far, ballot results from Khost, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Laghman, Kunar, Panjshir and Parwan provinces have arrived at the commission.