IEC to halt audit if accord not reached.
by Muhammad Hasan Khitab on 22 July, 2014 - 16:52 KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission ( IEC ) on Tuesday warned of halting the vote audit process if its decision on invalidating certain votes was not respected by the presidential candidates. IEC deputy head Abdul Rehman Hotaki told reporters matter of declaring certain votes invalid has been a problem. "For this reason, the commission has not yet decided how many votes should be invalidated or recounted." He added it was high time for both election campaigns to come to an agreement on the issue. Both camps were sent a statement yesterday, urging them to reach an understanding sooner rather than later. Hotaki made clear it was the IEC mandate to validate or invalidate votes and if the candidates failed to reach an agreement, the commission would go ahead with its procedure or halt it. Without going into details, the official hinted that several ballot boxes were dubious. Hotaki said efforts were underway to speed up the process. But Daud Sultanzoy, a representative of Dr. Ashraf Ghani, said there were no major differences between the two teams and an agreement would be reached soon. He asserted the issue should not in any way hinder the process and warned that the audit should be free of all sort of political or regional influences. Amarullah Aman, a representative of Dr. Abdullah, said there were some minor differences which would be resolved soon. IEC officials have said some 120 more international election observers have arrived in Kabul, which would naturally increase the number of auditing teams. Also on Tuesday, the commission spokesman, Noor Muhammad Noor, told a press conference that more than 700 ballot boxes had been audited so far. The spokesman added the number of auditing teams had reached 60 in each shifts and a total of 120 teams were auditing the ballots on a daily basis. Noor informed that more than 10, 000 ballot boxes had arrived in Kabul. Today, he said, more would arrive from Khost, Paktia, Panjsher and Badghis provinces. sks/mud ( Read more )*****
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