Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Chief Executive Office has called on the chairman of the Senate House, Fazel Hadi Muslimyar to apologize from the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
The Cheif Executive Office in a statement condemned Muslimyar’s remarks regarding the IEC and counting the presidential votes and stressed that no one has the right to warn commissions, officials and government employees.
“The Executive Office has instructed the judicial institutions to investigate such warnings and treat them legally,” the statement said.
Muslimyar, the speaker of the upper house of parliament on Tuesday vowed that he will compel the IEC to count ballots cast without biometric verification process.
Muslimyar who is a front-row supporter of President Ashraf Ghani’s team made the remarks after the IEC leadership announced that the commission has decided to invalidate any vote lacking biometric verification.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, visited the headquarters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Kabul to review officials working to tabulate and verify Afghanistan’s presidential election.
“People’s trust depends on electoral bodies’ performance,” Yamamoto said.
He indicated that transparency is vital and urged candidate agents and observers to view the tallying and other processes at the IEC.
Yamamoto noted that ownership of the election process is the responsibility of the election commissions and they have the support of the International Community.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the election commission, Hawa Alam Nuristani praised the international community’s cooperation and said that 98% of the presidential election process had been successful and the counting process slowed due to communication problems in some provinces.
Nuristani called on the international community’s support valuable for election process and called on candidates to avoid prejudice and respect the commission’s results.
The head of “Security and Justice” electoral team, Rahmatullah Nabil on Tuesday said that the Presidential Election has no winner in the first round and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) must take preparations for the second round.
During a press conference in Kabul, Nabil called on IEC to separate black and white votes and restore people’s lost confidence.
Nabil noted that he has serious questions about biometric devices, vote count, and whether the biometric-recorded data or the result sheets will be accepted.
“We see election transparency as a key to saving Afghanistan from a crisis,” he says.
In the meantime, the former intelligence chief called on other candidates to not get worked up about winning or losing.
Nabil says that some candidates are trying to provide the ground for a crisis in the country by making different remarks on their results.
“Our team has a plan if the country will face any crisis and we will share it in the next session”, he added.
The Presidential candidate Nabil thanks Afghan people for participating in the elections, the security forces for protecting the polls, and the international community for supporting the process.
The officials of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) said that 4367 complaints have been registered in the commission.
Addressing a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday, IECC secretary and spokesperson, Mohmmad Qasim Elyasi said the major number of complaints from Kabul was 1587 complaints, Herat 490 complaints and Jawzjan 131 complaints.
He noted that the process to register complaints was ended at 5:00 PM Monday in Kabul and other provinces and the work to classify the votes begun Tuesday morning in ECC central and provincial offices.
“The nature of the complaints has not been determined so far, but the main complaint was regarding lack of voter lists at polling centers,” he said.
ECC spokesperson added that fewer complaints were registered in Wardak and Samangan provinces.
Local officials in Ghazni province said that the Taliban have set up checkpoints in Kabul – Kandahar highway of Maidan Wardak province.
The provincial governor spokesperson, Arif Noori wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that Taliban group have set up several checkpoints in vicinity of Maidan Wardak province.
Meanwhile, the civilian deputy of Ghazni police, Mirza Hussain Sorosh was killed by Taliban militants on Sunday in Salar area of Kabul – Kandahar highway of Maidan Wardak province.
The Kabul-Ghazni highway is one of the unsafe highways in the country where the Taliban insurgents occasionally set up checkpoints in surroundings of Maidan Wardak province.
A Taliban prominent leader has been killed in an airstrike in northern Balkh province, Afghan military said.
The 209 Shaheen Corps in a statement on Monday said that Gul Nabi Mubarez, the Taliban shadow district chief for Chemtal district was killed in an airstrike.
The statement noted that Gul Nabi Mubarez had an active role in all terrorist attacks in Balkh province.
The statement noted that he had sustained critical injuries during current year from Afghan security forces and went for treatment in Pakistan.
He was targeted by Afghan Air Force while he had recently came in Balkh province to coordinate more attacks, the statement added.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) called on all electoral observers to cooperate with the commission.
Addressing a press conference, head of IEC secretariat, Habib-Ur-Rahman Nang called on all electoral observers to cooperate with the commission saying that don’t confuse the public, the commission will not let anyone interfere in the commission’s work.
He noted that all the figures and information that IEC has shared with the media are not final and are changing.
“We are committed to the people of Afghanistan, their votes will be safe, and there will not be fraud with the votes,” Nang said.
He added that the electoral materials from 356 polling stations in districts have been transferred to provincial capitals.
At least 11 policemen have been killed in a multi-pronged Taliban attack on a district headquarters in Balkh province, local officials said.
The spokesman of provincial governor, Munir Ahmad Farhad said the attack started early on Tuesday morning and clashes are still underway in Shortipa district of Balkh.
A Taliban spokesperson claimed to overrun the district, but Farhad rejected that claim.
He noted that the reinforcements are on their way to reach the area.
The head of Balkh provincial council, Afzel Hadid emphasized that the casualty toll could rise if the reinforcements not arrive on time.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib has met with UN Secretary General António Guterres in New York and discussed Afghan elections, the security situation, and prospects for peace, NSA office said.
Afghanistan’s representative to the UN, Adela Raz and Deputy Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman were also
in the meeting.
The UN Secretary General António Guterres has emphasized on the importance of the UN’s work in Afghanistan and expressed his strong commitment to Afghanistan for a lasting peace and stability.
Mohib on Monday addressed the 74th session of the United Nations Assembly where he told the Assembly on Monday that his country remains committed to becoming a peaceful and stable democracy despite constant attacks from the Taliban.
During his visit to New York, NSA also had a conversation with UN Special Envoy to Haiti, Josette Sheeran at Asia Society NY. They discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the emergence of a new and vibrant Afghan generation, efforts on peace and the gains of the Afghan security forces in their fight against the Taliban & terrorism.
The incoming top U.S. military officer has warned America’s adversaries to “never underestimate our skill, our capability and our combat power.”
Army Gen. Mark Milley said the United States will remain the world’s “premier fighting force,” after he was formally sworn in as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a ceremony overseen by U.S. President Donald Trump Monday.
Milley, a Princeton and Columbia graduate with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, will officially become chairman Tuesday.
The current chair, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, served as the top military officer for four years and begins his retirement process after more than four decades of military service.
Milley takes the helm of the Joint Chiefs of Staff amid increased tensions with Iran and rising violence in Afghanistan.