Karzai's cousin accuses of vote-rigging, fraud in parliamentary elections

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Kabul, Sept 29 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai's cousin, who was seeking re-election as an MP in Kabul, has accused the election officials of "illegally" blocking his observers from watching the counting process, with an intention to rig the result against him.

"I got a call from my observer saying the election staff had closed the school gate but when I went there they told me observers weren't allowed to watch the counting. I entered the counting hall all the staff became very worried and their faces turned red," the Scotsman quoted Jamil Karzai, as saying.

"They had hidden all the ballot papers to be used in favour of certain candidates. Some employees in the counting centres work illegally for of some candidates. At that time I knew some fraud was happening and that's why they didn't let the observers in," he added.

Earlier, however, election officials slammed Jamil for storming into the polling centre with his bodyguards after it was closed, and trying to interfere with the counting of votes.

Meanwhile, the country's leading elections monitor, the Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (Fefa), warned that it had received over 4,000 complaints and that it "has serious concerns about the quality" of Saturday's poll.

Earlier, the United Nations and NATO had praised Afghan voters for turning out for Saturday's parliamentary elections, despite a Taliban threat not to vote in the name of "jihad".

Earlier, the Taliban had warned voters to boycott the poll and "stick to jihad".

Preliminary results would reportedly be announced on September 22 this year. (ANI)

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