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[June 28, 2014]
Review of Recorded Evidence in Progress: ECC [TOLOnews (Afghanistan)]
(TOLOnews (Afghanistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) In a press conference on Saturday, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) stated that the reviews of the recorded evidence of fraud submitted by presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's campaign team is in progress.
ECC Spokesman Nader Mohseni said that the commission will hold public hearings when the sources of the audio, legality of the sources, expert views, and timings are clear.
"First of all, what are the sources of the recorded voices? Where are they? Are they legitimate or not?" asked Mohseni. "Secondly, were the sources authorized to record the voices or not? Thirdly, what are the views of experts? And lastly, when were these documents prepared?" In reaction to Mohseni's statements, Dr. Abdullah's campaign team asked that the ECC only be concerned with the electoral side of the matter and leave the judicial and legal issues to the related branches.
"If the commission confirms that the voices are Amarkhail's then they must review all the irregularities that Amarkhail has brought to the process," Dr.
Abdullah's campaign team member, Said Agha Sancharaki, said. "Review of the criminal issue is the responsibility of the judicial branches. We will disclose our source when the special court is created." Meanwhile, Mohseni said that in an official letter, Dr. Abdullah's campaign team has rejected the ECC provincial offices' decisions regarding electoral complaints.
"If they [Dr. Abdullah's team] do not accept the decisions of our provincial offices, the decisions will be reviewed again," Mohseni explained. "So we will review the decisions again in Kabul, as requested by Dr. Abdullah's campaign team." However, Sancharaki claims that their team has not sent any letter to the ECC, asserting that they have no contact with the commission.
"We do not have any working relations with the election commissions; we have not re-entered the process," Sancharaki stated. "We are only in contact with the Independent Election Commission (IEC), and that is only to find a specific solution to the electoral deadlock." ECC announced that if a second review of the complaints takes longer, the announcement of final results might be delayed.
In reaction to the announcement, Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai's campaign team said that they will not allow the final results to be delayed for long.
"If the final results are delayed for one or two days, it is not a problem," member of Dr. Ahmadzai's team, Moein Marastiyal, said. "But we do not want it to be delayed for too long." Due to consecutive holidays, ECC has extended the complaints clarification period until midnight on Monday.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a statement, pertaining to ECC's press conference, stating they support the accountability of election officials.
The statement read that UNAMA has noted the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) press conference in regards to the allegations against IEC's former Secretariat officer.
"No individual is above the law," the statement read. "On the other hand, no one can be considered or proclaimed guilty without firm evidence and due process." UNAMA's statement emphasized that they urge "in the case that there is evidence documenting unlawful activities by any individual, then such evidence should be investigated and adjudicated by the respective Afghan institutions and authorities.
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