Afghan Commission Invalidates All Kabul Votes In October Parliamentary Election

KABUL -- Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has declared that all votes cast in Kabul Province during the country’s October parliamentary election are invalid.

IECC spokesman Alirez Rohani told reporters in Kabul on December 6 that the decision was made for 25 different reasons -- including major fraud and mismanagement by the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC).

He said hundreds of complaints were filed about voting irregularities in the Afghan capital and surrounding areas of Kabul Province.

A spokesman for the Afghan election commission, Mohammad Haqparast, told RFE/RL on December 6 that the IEC was preparing to issue a statement "soon" in response to the invalidation of the votes.

At least 18 people were killed and 67 injured by a series of bomb attacks close to polling stations in Kabul during the October 20 vote.

Technical issues that marred the vote and caused some polling stations to be closed included missing biometric systems and the non-arrival of voter registration lists.

Lawmakers who represent Kabul Province have 33 of the 250 seats in Afghanistan’s lower chamber of parliament – the Wolesi Jirga.

All of the lawmakers are directly elected. There are 68 seats reserved for woman under Afghanistan’s constitution.

The election originally was scheduled for October 2016 but was postponed until July 7, 2018 -- and then postponed again until October 20 when voting took place in 32 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

Even then, security concerns and the organizational difficulties set back voting by another day in 400 constituencies across the country.

In Kandahar Province, voting was delayed by another week due to a deadly attack on the provincial police chief, General Abdul Raziq, on October 18.

Voting in Ghazni Province has still not been completed.

About nine million Afghans were registered to vote at 21,000 polling stations across the country. They included about 3 million women.

More than 54,000 security forces were deployed to protect polling stations across the country.