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Protests over Afghanistan election

Several hundred people have taken to the streets of Kabul to protest against problems with Afghanistan's parliamentary poll in September.

Preliminary results of the election were announced last month but final results have not yet been established.

The country's Electoral Complaints Commission has discarded nearly a quarter of ballots cast, citing fraud, sparking complaints that the body was manipulating results to make sure favoured candidates won.

A number of candidates demanded investigations, which are still ongoing, and there have been small, scattered protests since the September 18 election, with Afghans claiming their votes were not counted or protesting delays in naming the winners.

The vote was supposed to be a way for the government to reaffirm its legitimacy after a badly flawed election which saw President Hamid Karzai re-elected last year.

More than 300 Afghans took part in Tuesday's demonstration.

"This was selection, not election," said Siddiq Mansoor Ansari, who ran in eastern Nangarhar province. He said he had documented numerous instances of fraud before, during and after the polls.

"We will continue our demonstrations all over the country. We will block roads if they don't listen to us," he said.

Mohammed Daoud Sultanzoy, who ran in the south-eastern Ghazni province, said Afghans wanted " the laws of this country to be upheld, not an election commission engineering an election to their own end."

"Election laws and the constitution of this country have been stepped on."


From Belfast Telegraph