Election fraud videos need to be investigated
Feature Stories - October 2, 2019

Election fraud videos need to be investigated

KABUL (Pajhwok): Several video clips of alleged election rigging have been slammed as an effort to denigrate presidential wannabes.

The authorities concerned, who have invalidated non-biometric votes cast in Saturday’s election, have promised to investigate the videos.

Videos of people marking ballot papers in support of a particular runner and putting them into ballot boxes recently went viral on social media.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has already said non-biometric votes are invalid.

Sifatullah Amini Kabul shared on his Facebook page a video that shows a man tick-marking President Ghani’s picture on a ballot paper, stamping it and attaching a particular sticker to it. The face of the man cannot be seen in the video. He asked: “Where are the election bodies? Are they blind, dump and deaf?”

د ټاکنیزو درغلیو په اړه خپرې شوې ویډیوګانې باید وڅېړل شي

Syed Abdul Ghafoor Zeyan, another social media user, shared two videos on his Facebook account.

In these videos, two persons whose faces cannot be seen are allegedly committing fraud in favour of CEO Dr, Abdullah. One tells another person in the video: “Don’t pur similar tick marks because people would recongnise them.”

د ټاکنیزو درغلیو په اړه خپرې شوې ویډیوګانې باید وڅېړل شي

In another video, one man tells another: “Long live long ballot No. 9, long live resistance. We will make ballot paper no.9 the winner. Bring in more and more.”

Zeyan wrote: “This is a video of rigging! They commit fraud to support the Stability and Partnership team.”

Abdul Qayyum Safi also published a video showing a man who tick-marks presidential candidate Gulbadin Hekmatyar on the ballot paper. One talks: “Wait, show it friend! Long live Hekmatyar.” Nobody could be seen in the video; only one face can be partially seen.

د ټاکنیزو درغلیو په اړه خپرې شوې ویډیوګانې باید وڅېړل شي

In addition to these three, other videos have also been shared on social media. These videos are available on the following links.

These videos can’t be trusted:

Some Facebook users see these videos as doubtful. Majeed Qarar wrote: “Fraud videos are not reliable. These things can be planned and panted. A verification of these videos is a technical issue and the IEC can do it.”

د ټاکنیزو درغلیو په اړه خپرې شوې ویډیوګانې باید وڅېړل شي

Haqmal Nawroz wrote: “Dear countrymen! Please don’t circulate fake Facebook videos that are not sourced and in which faces of individuals cannot be seen. These videos serve no purpose but create confusion. Let IEC announce the result and the Complaints Commission filter all objections so voters could confidently say there was no fraud.”

د ټاکنیزو درغلیو په اړه خپرې شوې ویډیوګانې باید وڅېړل شي

Videos should be probed:

IEC Spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi told Pajhwok Afghan News non-biometric votes will not be counted and were unacceptable to the election body.

Regarding fake clips, he said: “Investigations into these videos are the task of the Independent Election Complaint Commission (IECC), which acts like a tribunal and we are confident that these videos will be probed.”

Yousuf Rashidi, executive director of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), held a similar view regarding the fake videos. “The IECC should investigate these vides from legal and technical angles.”

Technically speaking, he added, if rigging took place, it should be stated in which area it happened and who committed it and under which security unit.

He said: “Legally, the idea behind fraud it should be investigated. Do they want to defame the election process or is there any other plan?”

Mohammad Raza Fayyaz, deputy spokesman of IECC, said: “We have received videos related to election rigging. Investigations are underway to unearth the reality.” He added biometric votes are trustworthy and valid.

The 2014 presidential election had run into crisis as both Ghani and Abdullah wrangled over the results for months.

Both finally agreed on forming a national unity government as a result of mediation by then US foreign secretary John Kerry.

Ahmad Shah Erfanyar

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