Afghan officials say election results ready later this month

October 14, 2019 GMT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s delayed presidential election results should be ready later this month, after technical problems with the counting, its Independent Election Commission said on Monday.

Afghans voted in presidential elections earlier last month despite Taliban threats and violence. However, the polling was marred by widespread misconduct and accusations of fraud — as well as controversy over what appeared to be low turnout and claims from a lead contender, Abdullah Abdullah, that he had won the vote.

Hawa Alam Nuristani, head of the IEC, said that the goal is to meet the deadline for announcing the preliminary results on Oct.19.

She said that the data of more than one million voters has been successfully transferred to servers after technical problems with biometric devices used in the voting process.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan urged in a statement on Sunday that the electoral commission safeguard and properly complete the election process.

“Afghan citizens braved security threats to cast their votes for a better future. Those voters deserve to be commended for carrying out their civic duty,” said the U.N. statement.

The statement called on all Afghan authorities and actors — including the government and the candidates — to “protect the integrity of the process, especially with regard to tabulating and announcing the results.”

Over the weekend, Asadullah Saadati, the running mate of Abdullah, alleged systematic fraud in the elections.

Saadati said that their team has emphasized that only ballots from the biometric system should be used in counting.

Meanwhile in the capital Kabul, a high school principal was shot and killed in front of his home early Monday by unknown gunmen, according to the city police chief’s office.

Sayed Ziauddin, the principle of Abdul Ghafoor Nadim high school, was returning to his home, when he was attacked and killed.

In a separate incident Monday morning again in Kabul, three mortars struck close to the country’s parliament building, according to the police chief’s office. There were no casualties or damages.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in the capital.