But just half the 3,103 complaints registered so far will be
investigated, a complaints commission spokesman said, since the rest
were reported by telephone and lacked the required supporting
The three frontrunners have all complained of fraud in the April 5
vote meant to usher in Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of
power, as incumbent Hamid Karzai prepares to step down after more
than 12 years as head of state.
Midnight on Monday was the deadline for reporting fraud and any
irregularities, but the final figure is expected to rise as reports
flow into Kabul along with ballot boxes from around the country.
A final tally could take days to become available, since observers,
voters and other parties all had means to lodge complaints at
"As soon as we get them, it is clear the final number is going to
increase," said Nader Mohseni, spokesman for the Independent
Election Complaints Commission.
"We cannot ignore the fact that during the elections, there were
instances of fraud and electoral violations."
More than 2,000 complaints were investigated during the 2009
elections, which were tarnished by fraud that led to more than a
million votes being scrapped.
Complaints against election commission staff made up 772 of the
1,573 complaints backed by documents this time round, with another
573 aimed at provincial council candidates, while presidential
hopefuls faced 228 complaints.
Afghanistan held provincial council elections the same day.
World leaders have praised the April 5 vote as a success, because of
the strong turnout of voters, estimated at 60 percent of the 12
million eligible, and the failure of the Taliban to stage
high-profile attacks on the day.
Urban participation was unexpectedly high, but it is unclear to what
extent rural voters were deterred by the militant group and what
role state officials, including the police, had in encouraging
civilians to back a particular candidate.
In Afghanistan's second city of Kandahar, for instance, residents
complained police forced them to back a candidate supported by
President Hamid Karzai's brothers.
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Karzai's administration said it would investigate fraud at every
"The ministry is committed to prosecuting individuals at any level,
whether he is a provincial police chief, deputy minister or ordinary
policeman," said interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.
There are also fears the Taliban may exploit easing security in the
capital and elsewhere to ramp up attacks during the lengthy ballot
Preliminary tallies put former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah in
the lead in Kabul, but it could be weeks before a countrywide winner
Expectations are growing that Abdullah will face a runoff with
Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official with a program of radical
The former finance minister is expected to do well because of his
strong Pashtun power base in the east and popularity in major
cities, particularly among young people and women.
In the fiercely tribal south, young city-dwellers said they would
ignore pressure by elders to vote for one of their own and back
Ghani because he presented the best prospects for reform.
Adding to his prospects for success, Ghani's running mate, Abdul
Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek former guerrilla leader, holds sway
over hundreds of thousands of voters in the north.
(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; writing by Jessica Donati;
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