Presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar at a rally in Kabul on Friday recommended a full recount of votes amid uncertainty around the election results, which have been delayed for more than two months.
The rally was the first for his party since the presidential election was held on Sept. 28.
Hekmatyar said they demand a re-vote in polling stations where devices are lost, a recount of all votes, an announcement of results after filtering out “fraudulent” votes, and the establishment of interim government if election goes to a second round.
According to Hekmatyar, over 1.2 million votes are fraudulent and the devices from some polling stations are not lost but have been “stolen.”
He said the protest is the beginning of their movement to “defend people’s votes and rights” and to “save the country.”
He added that it is too optimistic to say that the presidential election will have a winner in the first round.
“We, along with few influential and powerful political parties and a few election campaign teams, have committed to firmly stand against fraud,” Hekmatyar stated.
He said that a good election will help the peace process move forward.
Hekmatyar also walked with the rally with his supporters at Darul Aman road in the west of Kabul.
“We will continue our protests in the center and in other provinces if our legitimate demands are not addressed and if the State Builder (campaign team) tries to retake power through fraud,” said Abdul Satar Khawasi, a supporter of Hekmatyar’s campaign team.
Meanwhile, supporters of Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team held a protest in Kapisa, Nangarhar and Bamiyan provinces.
“The protests will continue if the election commission does not return back to its real route,” said Mir Haidar Afzali, a member of Abdullah’s campaign team.
Protesting campaign teams have accused President Ghani’s team of “systematic fraud” in the election but Ghani at a meeting with his supporters rejected such remarks.
“Fraud has been committed by the one that does not want to recount its (ballot) boxes. Where has the State Builder campaign team prevented (a vote recount)?" Ghani said at a gathering on Friday.
The Independent Election Commission has completed the recount of votes from 27 provinces, but it still awaits the recount numbers of seven provinces.