Local News Summary - Sept 21

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In today's local news: the ECC is sorting through nearly 3,000 complaints; more intra-candidate troubles in Baghlan; Herat candidates declare themselves winners; while others differ on poll's transparency; UN and Russian Embassy praise electoral process. 

Election Complaints Overwhelm Afghan Voter Commission
VOA, Sept 21

Afghanistan's Election Complaints Commission (ECC) says it has received nearly 3,000 formal complaints about Saturday's parliamentary elections.The ECC said Tuesday that more than 1,300 of those complaints have been filed since election day.  Nearly 1,700 complaints were made before Saturday's vote. The ECC has set a Tuesday deadline for Afghans to file complaints. Election officials say close to four million Afghans voted for candidates running for 249 seats in the lower house of parliament, known as the Wolesi Jirga. [VOA] (See our updated report on complaints to the ECC here.)

Female Candidate Threatened by Rival’s Son
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 21

A female candidate has accused the son of her rival candidate of attacking her car, threatening her to death and beating up her driver in northern Baghlan province on Monday. Zarmina Barakzai said Atal, the son of rival candidate Shukuria Esakhil, together with seven bodyguards threatened her to death and used abusive words after intercepting her vehicle. "Atal is one of illegal armed men in Baghlan," Barakzai said, adding Atal escaped as area people arrived at the scene. [PAN]

Some Candidates Declare Victory
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 21

Some parliamentary candidates in western Herat province claim that they have received a large number of votes in Saturday's legislative polls. Others say the election was marred by widespread fraud. In the provincial capital, Pajhwok Afghan News interviewed three candidates who claimed winning more than sufficient votes in the second post-Taliban parliamentary election. One, Farooq Nazari, called the election more transparent than the one held five years ago, and said he had polled 20,000 votes. "Though small-scale violations took place at some polling centres, the overall process went well." [PAN]

Candidates split on vote transparency
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 21

Many candidates from various parts of the country allege that Saturday's parliamentary election was 'massively' rigged and the turnout was extremely low. However, others believe efforts had been made to ensure transparency. Ex-lawmaker Noorul Uloomi, also a candidate from Kandahar province, claimed brazen irregularities had been committed in the Wolesi Jirga polls. "The extent of fraud was no less than in last year's presidential election," Uloomi told Pajhwok Afghan News. [PAN]

UN Stresses Independence of IEC and ECC
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 21

The United Nations mission chief in Afghanistan on Tuesday praised the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for conducting Saturday's Wolesi Jirga vote in accordance with the electoral timetable. "We commend the IEC, under the leadership of Fazal Ahmad Manawi, for its achievement in implementing the elections according to the electoral timetable and in holding the election on September 18," the UNAMA head said. Staffan de Mistura acknowledged the poll panel had demonstrated significant improvements in organising of the elections. The achievements were accomplished against a backdrop of immense security and logistical challenges, he added. For the full text of the press release go here.

Afghan Vote a Major Achievement: Russia
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 21
Russia on Tuesday hailed the holding of the September 18 parliamentary election in a complicated politico-military situation in Afghanistan as a major achievement for the war-battered country. The Russian embassy in Kabul said in a statement that conducting the vote despite efforts by extremists to derail the process was a great achievement of the Afghan government and security forces. [PAN]