Afghan election watchdog disqualifies 19 over poll fraud

Kabul, Nov 22 (ANI): Afghanistan's election watchdog has disqualified 19 candidates who contested in the September poll, seven of whom are members of the 249-seat parliament, for alleged fraud.

According to the BBC, the disqualifications were announced after the UN-backed Election Complaints Commission (EEC) found most of their votes were fake.

The poll was only the second parliamentary election to be held in Afghanistan since the Islamist Taliban regime was overthrown nine years ago in a US-led invasion. It has been surrounded by allegations of corruption and rigging, and a final result is yet to be declared.

An Afghan official has said that the rejected candidates would not be able to appeal against the decision, the report said.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has already invalidated 1.3 million votes because of fraud or other irregularities, the report said. The election authorities had claimed last month that over 220 candidates were being investigated for fraud in the election.

Meanwhile, rallies have been held in Kabul and other cities calling for the election commissions to be scrapped. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused the Election Complaints Commission of creating political instability. (ANI)

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