While the exact date for the announcement of the preliminary results of the election remain vague, supporters of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday staged protests in the northern provinces of Sar-e-Pul, Faryab and Parwan.
The protestors called on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to invalidate the 300,000 controversial votes before announcing the election results.
Meanwhile, officials from the IEC have said they have received the report of recounted votes in 27 provinces, and currently the commission’s members are holding discussions on the recounting.
The protestors blamed the IEC for supporting a “particular” campaign.
The protestors also blocked the highway connecting Kabul to the northern parts of the country.
“We will defend our rights until the votes are verified, we will block the highway if needed, we will not allow anyone to exploit our votes,” said Noor Ahmad Eskandari, chairman of Parwan Jihad and Resistance Council.
“For how long will corrupt and fraudulent teams dominate the people?” asked Ghulam Mohammad, a supporter of the Stability and Convergence team.
“We will defend our votes,” said a protestor.
“Valid and invalid votes must be verified,” said a protester.
This comes a day after the IEC reported that no progress had been made on the announcement of the preliminary results. Apparently, the IEC is still waiting for a report by the secretariat of the commission on the recounted votes from 27 out of 34 provinces.
“Today the report was shared with the commissioners in detail. The commissioners will announce their decision by the end of the day or tomorrow,” Mirza Mohammad Haqparast, spokesman for the IEC said on Tuesday.
The IEC secretariat expected to send the report by Sunday evening, but other members of the commission said they had so far not seen the report, which includes a technical explanation of how the partial vote recount was carried out.
This follows an earlier protest in Kabul on Friday organized by presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team to demand transparency in the vote recount process.
The protesters warned the commission to not announce the preliminary results before invalidating the 300,000 disputed votes currently tallied in the IEC’s total number.
On Monday Abdullah spoke with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by telephone and the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest including the election process, according to Abdullah’s office.
“The United States of America supports the transparency and credibility of the elections in Afghanistan so that a credible system is created in Afghanistan through the election,” said Mujiburrahman Rahimi, a spokesman to Abdullah.
On Tuesday, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo tweeted about the conversation: “Spoke with Afghan CE Dr. Abdullah. I thanked him for his efforts to promote an Afghan peace process and underscored US support for Afghanistan’s democracy. Afghans risked their lives to vote and deserve a transparent process and an outcome that reflects their will.”