KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday said early congratulations to presidential candidates and prejudicial statements about election results made by some politicians were against the rules and national interests and those involved would be brought to justice.
On Saturday, voting in the presidential election started at 7am and ended at 5pm under strong security measures. At least 13 candidates contested the presidential election. No results from the poll and the number of people participated in the process have been revealed so far.
However, Fazal Hadi Mulimyar, the Meshrano Jirga or Senate chairman, congratulated Ashraf Ghani, a leading presidential candidate and said on his Facebook page, “It is the place of happiness and pride that initial information obtained from different provinces of the country show that Ashraf Ghani’s team is the winner.”
He said Afghans by their high turnout on Saturday showed to the world that they wanted security and a republic government system. Saturday’s election was transparent and just, he added.
Atta Mohammad Noor, executive head of the Hezb-i-Jamiat Islami Afghanistan (HJIA) and former Balkh governor on his Facebook page said, “Despite some shortcomings in the election process, we congratulate the Afghan people on their success in democracy, initial results show that one of the candidates is winning and there is no need to go to the second round, those who are waiting for crisis or encouraging people to take to the streets for seeking the CEO post, should rethink because there would be no CEO post in this round of presidency, Afghanistan is passing through a sensitive situation and the people cannot bear more crisis, we hope for peace and stability.”
Noor did not name the winning candidate but he probably pointed to Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as he referred to crisis and the CEO post is because Abdullah in the 2014 election refused to accept the election result that led to the creation of the CEO post and the national unity government.
Illegal comments about election:
Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, IEC spokesman, said such comments were against the electoral law and no one had the right to make prejudicial statements about the results of polls.
“Publishing such messages is against the national interest because they confuse the public mind and it would even question the legitimacy of the election,” he said.
He asked supporters of candidates, particularly government officials, not to make any comments about the election results before they are announced.
In response to a question, he said, “Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) would take legal action against those who publish such rumors and no one has the right to give predictions about the election results or interfere in IEC affairs.” Ibrahimi said predictions confused public mind and the IECC was responsible to follow such issues.
Mohammad Qasim Elyasi, IEC spokesman, said that any predictions about the election results from other sources were against the procedure and electoral law and those involved would be taken to task.
He did not provide details how the offenders would be treated, but said, “The government would try them according to their positions and comments.”
Mohammad Rafi Seddiqi, who heads the IEC media committee, also earlier said that no one had the right to predict the election results and anyone who anticipated the results would be tried according to the law, whether they were strongmen or media institutes.
However, Abdul Hadi Mulsimyar, said, “I as a member of Ashraf Ghani’s electoral ticket have the right to write based on evidence and documents we have obtained from different provinces.”
He said announcing the election results was IEC’s responsibility, but the commission reported to supporters of the team that their results were better.
Pajhwok Afghan News tried to talk with Atta Mohammad Noor about his comments, but failed. Parwiz, a spokesman for Noor, confirmed Noor’s comments on Facebook but did not provide details.
Khuwaja Basir Fitri
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