AFP, October 11, 2010
25 Afghan lawmakers accused of vote fruad
"Among the accused candidates, there are 25 members of the lower house,"
KABUL — Afghanistan's election watchdog confirmed Sunday that more than 170 candidates who stood for parliament, including 25 current lawmakers, have been accused of electoral fraud.
The Electoral Complaints Commission (EEC) said they have registered 4,149 complaints since polling day on September 18. More than half the complaints have been given top priority and if proven, could affect the final results.
Of 6,800 polling centers that were scheduled to operate on election day, more than 1,500 were shut because of security concerns. At least 17 people were killed that day, though no major attack was reported.
Violence in Afghanistan this year is at its highest level since the start of the war nine years ago.
The Los Angeles Time, Oct. 11, 2010
Of those candidates accused, 136 were referred by the Independent Election Commission and 39 by security institutions, ECC spokesman Ahmad Zia Rafaat told reporters.
"Among the accused candidates, there are 25 members of the lower house," he said. If allegations are proven against any candidate, their votes will be nullified and they will be referred for prosecution.
More than 2,500 candidates stood for the 249 seats in Afghanistan's lower house of parliament, or Wolesi Jirga. Over four million votes were cast at the 5,510 polling stations that opened across Afghanistan on election day.
The election was clouded by Taliban violence and claims of fraud. Hundreds of polling centres were unable to open because of a lack of security.
Results cannot be verified until the ECC has investigated all of the allegations of fraud and irregularities lodged at its office.
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