Embattled Afghan election officials on Monday vowed to investigate the mishandling of the weekend’s problem-plagued legislative ballot, as voters prepare to wait weeks for the results. Initial figures show around four million voted in the long-delayed election that was extended by a day after many polling centres opened late or not at all due to glitches with biometric verification devices and missing or incomplete voter rolls. That is less than half of the nearly nine million voters who had registered to participate in the parliamentary election, though many suspect that a significant number of those were based on fake identification documents that fraudsters hoped to use to stuff ballot boxes. The turnout figure does not include those who voted on Sunday, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.
A final number would be released after voters go to the polls in Kandahar province on October 27, it said. Thursday’s Taliban attack on a high-level security meeting forced Afghan officials to delay the ballot.
Elections also are pending in the southeastern province of Ghazni. “Bearing in mind that nine million Afghans had registered, turnout can hardly be said to have been good,” Afghanistan Analysts Network said in a report.
Afghanistan’s Electoral Complaints Commission said earlier it had received “thousands of reports of problems” over the weekend.