UPDATE – Afghan election authority says Kabul vote still valid

             UPDATES WITH ELECTION COMMISSION REJECTING EARLIER DECISION ON KABUL VOTES; NEW HEADLINE, DECK

By Shadi Khan Saif and Sayed Khodaberdi Sadat

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – The Afghan election authority on Thursday overruled a declaration rejecting October's election results in capital Kabul.

Earlier on Thursday, an Afghan election complaints body declared all votes cast in Kabul void saying devices for biometric verification were faulty.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC), the main electoral body, also accused the complaints body of spreading panic and causing glitches in the voting process.

Abdulbadi Sayad, the IEC chairman, said the electoral commission was an independent body striving hard to ensure transparency under challenging circumstances while counting and recounting votes for the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) elections.

He said the preliminary results for 20 out of 34 provinces have been announced, and the rest, including Kabul, would be announced as per schedule.

It is only after the initial results candidates can lodge their complaints, he added.

More than one million votes were cast in Kabul in the general elections on Oct. 20. The results from the polls have yet to be announced.

Some 800 individuals competed for 33 seats for Kabul in the Afghan parliament.

<p>In a special report titled “2018 Elections Violence,” the UN mission in Afghanistan noted the Taliban launched a deliberate campaign of violence and intimidation to disrupt the elections, resulting in record high numbers of civilians killed and injured on Election Day.</p>  <p>The report verified a total of 435 civilian casualties (56 deaths and 379 injured) during the process.

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