MAHMOOD RAQI (Pajhwok): The delay in announcement of the final results from the provincial council elections has in no way undermined transparency in the democratic exercise, successful candidates from central Kapisa province said on Wednesday.
The Independent Election Commission chairman announced the results at a news conference in Kabul on Saturday. The preliminary results had been unveiled on May 20. The final results, originally scheduled for June 7, were delayed for technical reasons.
As many as 458 candidates, including 97 women, have found their way to provincial councils. In the preliminary results, 458 candidates had been declared successful.
Winners from Kapisa said public concerns about the elections’ transparency due to the delay had turned out to be misplaced. They dismissed the impression that some candidates had struck deals with the two electoral commissions.
Former provincial council chairman Hussain Sanjni, who has been reelected, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the outcome of the elections had been set back as a result of feuds between the presidential runners.
But the postponement had no adverse effect on the results, he insisted, saying that only those candidates who had won genuine votes had been declared successful. The fair results would strengthen democracy, he hoped.
“A number of individuals tried to enter the council through the backdoor, but they failed in their attempts and only the deserving candidates found their way to the forum,” Sanjni added.
He rejected complaints of rigging in the elections, saying all runners could not win. He welcomed the final result as a victory for democratic forces and asked losers not to dispute the outcome.
Another winner, Mohammad Aman Mubarez, tied his victory to public support. He also spurned claims that the commissions had exhibited favouritism. Kapisa residents knew that popular candidates had won the polls, he remarked.
But the losers allege lack of transparency and payment of bribes by their rivals. “IEC staff has been complicit in fraud in favour of their blue-eyed people or those who had greased their palms,” said one unsuccessful runner.
Ahmadi Kohbandi charged most of the sordid deals were cut during the delay. He believed the results were far from fair and would not promote the cause of democracy in Afghanistan.
But Basir Sapi, another loser, gracefully accepted the result. He agreed the electoral process was conducted in a free manner.