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Electoral fraud: IECC’s chief says he was misquoted

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AT-KABUL: Chief of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) Abdul Sattar Sadat rejected the allegations about fraud in the 2014 presidential election, terming report of Radio Azadi baseless.

Radio Azadi on September 18 in a report said that Chief of the IECC told a gathering that dismissal of the electoral commissioners would inflict damage on President Ashraf Ghani.

“President Ashraf Ghani will see more damage by sacking the commissioners because the president came to power through fraud rather than political agreement. He [the president] is under pressure to take such decisions; otherwise he will not have done it. This decision of the president means that his authority has been taken from him. Sacking of each commissioner means that the president had come to power as a result of fraud, committed by those fired commissioners. As well as one should not expect anything from Abdullah Abdullah because he had also trampled underfoot the laws,” Radio Azadi quoted Saddat.

Denying the allegations, Saddat on Sunday said that his statement was distorted by Radio Azadi, adding that he had no secret documents about the fraud in presidential election to prove that the poll was rigged and save himself from sacking.

He demanded of the radio to publish a corrigendum and tender an apology. He also said that the news story was out of context and he would approach the Mass Media Commission.

“I will wait for two days to see whether Radio Azadi is correcting the mistake or not. If it does not then it shall bring evidence to the Mass Media Commission to prove what it had reported,” he said.

After establishment of the Special Electoral Reforms Commission (AERC), members of both electoral commissions repeatedly showed reaction against the government’s decision regarding firing the commissioners. Electoral commissioners always claimed that establishment of the AERC was illegal and its decision is inapplicable when it comes to dismissal of commissioners.

Chief of the AERC, Shah Sultan Akifi, has said that the electoral commissioners are responsible for the electoral deadlock and the president has the right to sack the commissioners in order to bring reforms.