Afghanistan election complaints far less than 2009

KABUL, Afghanistan - Observers and voters filed far fewer complaints on Saturday’s presidential election than in the 2009 vote, Afghan election officials said Tuesday.

According to the election commission of Afghanistan, more than seven million people participated in the polls last Saturday.

“The registration of complaints over the election closed last night,” said Nadir Muhseni, the spokesman of the Electoral Complaints Commission at a press conference today.

Muhseni said that the commission received a total of 3,103 complaints, 1,573 of them were received as written official complaints with the remainder received from individual Afghan voters, independent observers and representatives of the candidates reported over the phone. 

“The complaints that we received over the phone are just a source of information for us and we can’t use them officially,” he said.

Also, only 228 of the written and official complaints are regarding the presidential runners, 573 are related to the provincial council’s runners and 772 complaints are about the workers of the election commission, he added.

“Looking at the evaluation of national and international observers along with the information we received, the number of complaints is far less than the election in 2009,” Muhseni said.

At least 2,800 official and written complaints were registered regarding the 2009 presidential election held in August 2009. The elections were widely characterized as marred by a lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread ballot stuffing and electoral fraud.

In 2009, the election commission fired more than 11,000 of its employees for being involved in the irregularities. 

There were eight contenders for the presidential seat and thousands running for provincial seats during elections that were held three days ago.

Dr. Ashraf Ghani, the former finance minister and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the former foreign minister are the strongest contenders for the presidential seat.

The preliminary election results are due out on 24th April with the final results due on May 14th.

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