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Afghan election officials suspended

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Khaama Press
Khaama Presshttps://www.khaama.com
Khaama Press is a Kabul-based independent and non-political news organization established in 2010.

(BBC) – Two of Afghanistan’s most senior election officials have been suspended, hours before results were finally due to be released from the September poll.

It is not clear why the attorney general acted against the spokesmen of the Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission.

A judge is expected to receive files on Wednesday on Nur Mohammad Nur, of the IEC, and Ahmad Zia Rafat, of the ECC.

It is the latest setback to a vote that has been dogged by corruption.

The election authorities have already invalidated some 1.3m votes – almost a quarter of those cast – and at the weekend ruled out 19 candidates, who had been declared winners in preliminary results.

The disqualifications prompted rallies this week in Kabul and other cities at which people called for the commissions to be scrapped.

A number of candidates took part, complaining their votes had been stolen by well-connected rivals.

The UN-backed ECC has been investigating claims of widespread irregularities surrounding the poll for the 249 seats in the lower house of parliament.

Correspondents say there has meanwhile been a growing row between President Hamid Karzai and the electoral authorities.

Mr Karzai has claimed they create political instability, while he in turn has been accused of meddling.

Last year, Mr Karzai’s re-election was also overshadowed by fraud when the ECC threw out a third of the votes cast for him.

Turnout was around 40% in Afghanistan’s second parliamentary election since the US-led invasion of nine years ago.

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Source: BBC

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