KABUL (Pajhwok): In response to the ‘Stability and Partnership’ electoral team’s protests, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday said its duty was to protect people’s votes independently as per the law and would never allow outside meddling.
Thousands of supporters of the Stability and Partnership election team, led by presidential candidate and incumbent CEO Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday staged a protest rally, asking the IEC and other related institutions to meet their legal demands.
The IEC in a statement released on Saturday termed protest as citizens’ political right and important to institutionalize democratic values.
The statement said the IEC was legally responsible to hold elections throughout the country and protect people’s votes and observe laws, regulations and procedures for the election.
It added the IEC based on the law has protected people’s votes and will never allow an individual or group to interfere in the polls process.
The IEC assured all people and presidential candidates it will count only biometrically verified votes.
The statement urged political parties particularly presidential candidates to cooperate with the IEC in completing the vote recount and audit process in the seven provinces based on the law and procedure.
The IEC also called on citizens to be patient and cooperate until IEC for announced preliminary results.
On November 9, the electoral panel started the audit and recount of votes from 8,255 of the 26,580 polling stations to sift fraudulent ballots from valid ones.
The move has drawn opposition from several candidates including Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and GulbadinHekmatyar.
The presidential election was held on September 28. The preliminary result was expected on October 19 and the final outcome on October 7.
In line with the IEC presidential election schedule, the preliminary result should was to be announced on October 19 while the final result was set to be announced on November 7, but the process suffered delay due to late transfer of biometric data to the central servers.
IEC had said to announce the preliminary result on November 14, but failed to meet that date as well and the announcement of September 28 presidential polls remained unknown since then.

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