Dozens of protesting candidates and their supporters on Saturday launched a protest near the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament, preventing the new lawmakers to enter the house, where they were expected to elect the administrative board and the speaker.
The protesting candidates said they have succeeded to win a seat in the parliament from Kabul based on the preliminary results of the October 20 parliamentary elections. But according to the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, the results have been rejected and are under assessment by the institution.
President Ghani inaugurated the new term of parliament on April 16, but so far the lawmakers have held only one session which turned controversial due to the absence of Kabul MPs.
“The election of the administrative board should be suspended until the return of Kabul MPs,” said Khan Agha Rezaee, a protesting candidate from Kabul. “We call on election commissions to announce the final results of Kabul as soon as possible.”
“It will be a violation of the law if the administrative board is elected by 217 lawmakers in absence of 33 legislators from Kabul,” said Zuhra Nawrozi, a protesting candidate from Kabul.
Officials from the election commissions said the assessment of the Kabul votes is underway and that it will be finalized in the near future.
“I cannot say an exact time but we hope that we will finish it by tomorrow (Sunday),” said Mohammad Hanif Danishyar, member of the Independent Election Commission.
According to the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, at least 20 percent of Kabul votes are missing.
So far, the electoral complaints commission has assessed 80 percent of Kabul votes which were included in 2,500 result sheets.
More than four million people voted in parliamentary elections in the country on October 20. At least one-quarter of the votes is belonged to Kabul.
“We selected one option in-between invalidation of votes and giving credibility to the votes which were contaminated with fraud, violation and election crimes. It seems that it (the assessment of the votes) is a logical option,” said Mohammad Qasim Elyasi, head of the secretariat of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.