A member of Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Afghan Parliament, claims every parliamentary seat has been sold for $50,000 to $400,000, but the Independent Election Commission (IEC) denies the claim.
Mohammad Musa Junab, a representative of Badghis province in the house, said at the Monday’s plenary session of Wolesi Jirga that some legislative hopefuls paid from $50,000 to $400,000 to buy seats in the house.
Without naming anyone or providing any details, the parliamentarian claimed that some of the current representatives also paid bribe to maintain their seats after they failed to secure enough votes in October 20 election.
Junab said the money to buy parliamentary seats has been deposited in Sarai Shahzada, the main exchange market in Kabul.
“When legislative seats were to be sold for money, there was no need for holding elections. Anyone who had the finance would buy it,” the MP concluded.
Speaker of the house Abdul Raouf Ebrahimi stayed tight-lipped about the claim, but called on the Independent Election Commission to announce election results at its earliest convenience, stressing that the delay in the announcement arises further skepticism about the transparency of the poll.
Ebrahimi added that IEC should thoroughly investigate electoral irregularities and crimes that could restore people’s trust in the election.
The results were originally due to be announced on November 10.
Sayed Hafizullah Hashimi, a spokesman for the Independent Election Commission, said last week that election results from provinces will be announced on November 23. Results from Kabul will be out later on first day of next month, he said.
Hashimi cited troubles in “filtering and transportation” of ballots over the delay.
About the claims of bribe for wining parliamentary seats, Hashimi said those are just baseless rumors.
“No one has the authority and power to sell the seats; only those will make their way to the house that got public votes and deserve to be representative,” Hashimi assured.
He called on Wolesi Jirga members to share information about the alleged fraud at IEC and security apparatus, so the violators would be identified and dealt with accordingly.
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