Recording alleges fraud in Afghan presidential run-off vote
The party of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah yesterday broadcast a recording it said showed mass fraud had been committed in the country's presidential run-off vote.
The audio purports to show that Independent Election Commission Secretariat head Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhil made phone calls to officials in several provinces ordering them to stuff ballot boxes using code words.
While Amarkhil denies the allegations and the Independent Election Complaints Commission is investigating, the broadcast could stoke further protests supporting Abdullah's decision to withdraw from the vote.
Abdullah last week recalled his observers monitoring the ongoing count and said the outcome of the run-off with former finance minister Ashraf Ghani on June 14 would be illegal.
The UN has warned of an escalation of ethnic tension and called on him to reengage with the election. Abdullah is of mixed heritage but his support base is with the Tajik community, while Ghani is an ethnic Pashtun.
"Today we are releasing documents which show Amarkhil has organised cheating and manipulated votes favouring one candidate," Abdullah's campaign manager Baryalai Arsalai said.
In one example, the voice tells the person on the other end of the line to "stuff the sheep properly". The word "sheep" is interpreted by Abdullah's staff as code for "ballot box".