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Dispute Between Afghan Election Bodies Over Kabul Results


Afghan police officers stand guard while election commission workers prepare ballot boxes and election material at a polling station in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2018.

A dispute has erupted between two of Afghanistan's top election bodies over the results of October's parliamentary polls in the capital, Kabul, and its suburbs.

The body responsible for dealing with irregularities, Afghanistan's Independent Election Complaints Commission, has declared all votes cast in Kabul province invalid based on a determination the elections in the area were marred by massive fraud and violations of election law.

Thursday in Kabul, the AIECC also announced the removal of five of the top officials of the Independent Election Commission, which ran the polls. AIECC spokesman Ali Reza Rohani said the officials were fined about $1,333 each and could face further action.

The IEC has rejected the move as politically motivated and accused the AIECC of endangering the national electoral process.

IEC chief Gulajan Badi Sayaad said his commission will continue counting the votes. IEC secretary Sayed Hafizullah Hashami said Thursday the commission will prepare a legal response to the AIECC decision soon.

Elections were held in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces in October. The IEC has announced preliminary results in 20 provinces. Elections were not held in Ghazni due to differences among residents over the make-up of their constituencies.

Kabul province has 33 seats, including nine for women, in the 250-member Afghan assembly.