UNAMA seeks legal action against IEC commissioner Abdullah
True - November 11, 2019

UNAMA seeks legal action against IEC commissioner Abdullah

KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has filed a complaint against what it called ‘inappropriate behavior’ of Independent Election Commission (IEC) commissioner Maulana Abdullah with an employee and demanded legal action against him.

A letter from UNAMA received by Pajhwok Afghan News says UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamachi Yamamato on Sunday filed a complaint against IEC commissioner Maulana Abdullah.

The purpose of the letter was to formally express the UN concern over the behavior of commissioner Maulana Abdullah at a recent commission meeting on the evening of November 5.

The meeting was attended by a number of UNESP technical advisor as well as two international non-voting commission and other IEC commission and senior secretariat officials.

During the meeting on Nov 5, UN Election Support Group (UNESP) technical advisors and the international commissioners witnessed direct life-threatening statements being made against Bashir Ali, database manager for the national tally center, by Commissioner Maulana Abdullah. Commissioner Abdulla also made derogatory slurs about Ali’s religion and ethnicity.

“The United Nations find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable, and in direct contravention of article 17 of the electoral law,” the UNAMA letter read.

 “Our understanding is that this not the first time commission Maulana Abdullah has exhibited this kind of offensive behavior in meeting and interaction at the IEC but it’s the first time that United Nations staff have been witness to such an event.”

The UN mission called for urgent measures to address commissioner Maulana Abdullah’s behavioure with a view to holding him accountable.

The letter said the United Nations was committed to fully supporting the work of the IEC, but a toxic working environment has been created by commissioner Maulana Abdullah’s behaviour, leaving the mission with no choice but to review its daily interaction with Commissioner Maulana in this regard.

“We reserve the right to consider possible next steps based on the decisions taken by commission in response to this incident. We hope the IEC will take appropriate and timely action…”.

Also a credible source in IEC, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed offensive and life-threatening behavior of Maulana Abdullah with one of IEC employee on November 5.

The source quoted Abdullah as threatening the Shia employee: “I will kill you even if you are the grandson of the Messenger forget about Imam Hussain.” He added IEC’s secretariat also stopped work that night in protest.

On the other hand, Ali Bashir, manager of the National Tally Center, verified to Pajhwok that he had been insulted and threatened by the Maulana. Ali Bashir added: “All the IEC staff was present when Abdullah threatened me.”

To a Pajhwok email, UNAMA on Monday said electoral authorities in the war-torn country “face a range of complex and difficult challenges” in managing the count and tabulation of recent presidential elections.”

UNAMA in a statement said it remained committed to providing technical advice to assist the Afghanistan electoral authorities in their work to ensure the results were fraud-free and credible and the process transparent. 

“It is important that the electoral authorities respect all tenets of the country’s electoral law, act with transparency in their operations, maintain full accountability for their work, and expedite the issuance of results at the earliest time.”

But Maulana Mohammed Abdullah, IEC commissioner, referred to a written UN letter and said: “I reject this letter as a mere lie and false information. The UN mission is trying to say the words of those who work in favor of one or more candidates.”

Pointing to UNAMA’s letter, IEC commissioner Abdullah said: “I reject this letter as baseless and it is a mere lie.

However, previously there were reports that Abdullah thrashed IT head in IEC secretariat.

Some IEC officials told Hasht-i-Subh newspaper that Abdullah beat Mohammad Kabir Panahi, former IT manager in IEC.

Secretary of the commission also confirmed that Abdullah had beaten Panahi. This incident took place on September 5. Panachi also confirmed the incident.

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Azizullah Hamdard

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