Afghanistan

Afghan opposition alliance terms election commission biased

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KABUL, Jul 25, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The leader of Afghan opposition alliance the National Understanding Front (NUF) on Monday termed the UN-sponsored Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) as partial and rejected it.

"The JEMB, instead of acting independently, is following the government's instructions to ensure the interest of certain group, " Mohammad Yunus Qanooni told journalists at a press conference here.

Qanooni, who heads a 15-memebr umbrella of small and big groups, demanded that the vote counting should be held at voting centers.

"Counting votes at provincial centers enables authorities to interfere in the process. So we are against it and call upon the JEMB to tally the votes at voting sites," he stressed.

Qanooni, the leader of the opposition and former education minister who lost to Hamid Karzai in last year's presidential election, also accused the government of fraudulent policy, saying that he would not tolerate forgery this time.

"We do not want the presidential election-like forgery to be repeated in the parliamentary polls, otherwise the opposition would adopt its own way," Qanooni warned without elaboration.

More than 10 million Afghans eligible to vote will elect their representatives for a 249-seat parliament from over 6,000 candidates through balloting on Sept. 18 in the post-conflict Afghanistan.