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Nearly 6,000 complaints against Afghan vote: watchdog

world Updated: Oct 28, 2010 19:48 IST
Afghan election

An Afghan election watchdog has registered almost 6,000 complaints following last month's parliamentary poll, around half of which could affect the final results, an official said Thursday.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has already thrown out 1.3 million votes amid concerns about fraud in the September 18 poll, the second of its kind since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. The cancelled votes account for more than 23 percent of the ballots cast.

Ahmad Zia Rafaat, a spokesman for the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) a UN-backed election watchdog, said his organisation received nearly 6,000 complaints about irregularities and fraud since voting day.

"From the election day to date we have received 5,971 complaints," Rafaat told reporters, putting around 2,500 of the complaints in the most serious category of potential irregularities known as "group A".

He said 70 percent of the objections had been processed. If the complaints are upheld they would change the results of the ballot by potentially forcing the cancellation of the affected votes.

The IEC announced preliminary results earlier this month. The final outcome is not expected before early November. About five million people voted in the election, which was marred by Taliban violence.

An Afghan independent election monitoring body meanwhile demanded "transparency" in the post-election process.

"The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) expressed concern regarding the recounting and exclusion of ballots from the September 18 parliamentary elections," it said in a statement. It called on "electoral institutions to demonstrate greater transparency as the 2010 electoral process enters its final weeks".