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ECC Takes Action Against Candidates

The complaints were only two of four that the ECC has received and followed-up on this week.

According to the ECC, the complaint against Mr. Sultanzoy involved claims that he threatened reporters from an unnamed private TV station.

"According to the 69th article of the Election Law, this issue is crime related and since ECC does not then have the authority to deal with it, it has been officially sent to the Attorney General's office," ECC head Abdul Satar Seerat said.

Mr. Sultanzoy has disputed the claims made against him and called the action taken against him "propoganda".

"I contacted the Electoral Complaints Commission today and they said that this issue is out of their authority and it has been sent to the Attorney General's office," Sultanzoy said. "I think they are doing this to kill time; this commission is doing this to sabotage a candidate's character."

Regarding Dr. Ashraf Ghani, the ECC has said a letter was received from the Office of Administrative Affairs and Council of Ministers Secretariat about a complaint against the candidate.

The complaint was said to have involved two armored vehicles that Ghani was given during his work on the transition process. Reportedly, failed to turn in the official government vehicles and has used them during his campaign.

Representatives from the Office of Administrative Affairs and Council of Ministers Secretariat were at the ECC's press conference, and seemed to have withdrawn the complaint. But Mr. Ghani was still fined 50,000 AFN by the ECC.

"Due to his violation of the 68th and 9th articles of the Election Law, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is fined 50,000 AFN" Seerat announced to the reporters gathered at the ECC's office in Kabul.

In response, officials from Dr. Ghani's campaign have asserted that the vehicles were never used.

"Two vehicles were with the security team of Dr. Ghani and used by them, this security was provided by government to protect Dr. Ghani," campaign spokesman Hameedullah Farooqi said. "Dr. Ghani uses his private armored vehicle, I think there has been some misunderstanding."

According to the ECC police vehicles have been improperly used by the Presidential campaign of Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayaf as well, and he was issued a stern warning.

"Based on paragraph one, item three and article 64 of the Election Law, we will send a written warning to Mr. Sayyaf and hope that they will be more careful in future," Seerat added.

The last complaint was against Presidential candidate Abdul Rahim Wardak for campaigning in schools in Parwan province.  But without evidence supporting the claim, the complaint was dropped.

Saturday, 15 February 2014, TOLO News

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