The Independent Election Commission (IEC), will complete the recount of votes from seven provinces “within the next three days,” an official of the electoral body said.
The recount of votes in the seven provinces – in northern and northeastern Afghanistan – was prevented by supporters of Abdullah Abdullah who blocked provincial centers and stopped the process. Abdullah’s campaign team contends that 300,000 votes and “invalid” and should not be counted in the final tally.
The remaining provinces include Panjshir – in the center, as well as Takhar, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pul and Faryab in the north and northeast.
“Our colleagues were sent to provinces at 5pm today and the recount and audit have started in seven provinces,” deputy IEC chief Esmatullah Mal said.
Meanwhile, head of the IEC secretariat Habib-Ur-Rahman Nang said they will begin the audit of votes from 1,287 polling stations based on “Decision 105” of the commission.
“Based on this decision, three directorates have been tasked to audit the biometric devices and find out whether there is biometric information about the polling stations that were open on the election day and if result sheets are available from them,” Nang said. “Reports from these three groups will be prepared and will be sent to the commission’s leadership for decision making.”
But a number of Abdullah Abdullah’s observers said the IEC secretariat wanted to begin the audit of votes from 1,300 biometric devices without coordination with other teams.
“This is a completely new issue. We hope that you take the complete information from the IEC secretariat because only this institution is aware of it-- not the electoral complaints commission or the election commission,” Abdullah team’s observer Noor Rahman Akhlaqi said.
The election commission started the vote recount of 27 provinces a month ago but was prevented by Abdullah’s supporters from completing the process in the remaining seven provinces.