Sep 14, 2005

Faked ballot paper in Herat

Some unidentified men Wednesday distributed fake ballot papers comprising muddled names, pictures and registration numbers of four candidates in the western Herat province.
The names of Abdul Raziq Zamanzi, Syed Shafiq, Haji Mohammad Alam and Qazi Nazir Ahmad were printed on the bogus ballot papers. However, the actual papers are lying safe in the provincial office of the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB).

Syed Shafiq, one of the contestants, has told to Media his registration number 111 was replaced with 76, which belongs to Abdul Raziq Zamanzi. "After I warned of going on hunger strike, JEMB officials showed me real my name and picture on a form they had."

The distribution of sham ballot papers might damage the election campaign, he maintained. Interestingly, each of the four men claimed his rivals had masterminded the distribution of the sham ballot papers.

By the same token, the name, picture and registration number of Haji Mohammad Alam were replaced with Qazi Nazir Ahmad's. When approached for comments, both declined to say anything.

Abdul Aziz Shamim, an official of the National Democratic Institute, described the act as plain violation of the electoral law. He confirmed the receipt of the fake papers, saying the matter was being probed.
JEMB's external relations officer in Herat Philippa Neave also confirmed the circulation of the sham ballot papers. He said the perpetrators would be traced soon.

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