Afghanistan
Karzai has stopped short of endorsing the outcome of September's fraud-hit parliamentary vote, urging protestors around the country to avoid violence and file complaints through legal channels. – AFP Photo

KABUL: Afghanistan's top prosecutor, a key aide of President Hamid Karzai, summoned four top election officials for questioning over fraud claims on Thursday as anger mounted over disputed poll results.

Karzai has stopped short of endorsing the outcome of September's fraud-hit parliamentary vote, urging protestors around the country to avoid violence and file complaints through legal channels.

Election Complaints Commission (ECC) commissioner and spokesman Ahmad Zia Rafat and head of the ECC secretariat Aman Tajali have been ordered to appear before top prosecutor Mohammad Ishaq Alko, his deputy Rahmatullah Nazari said.

Nazari told AFP the spokesman for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Noor Mohammad Noor and the body's head of information technology Shafiq Kohistani were also summoned.

“There have been direct petitions lodged against them and they're accused of violation of the constitution, misuse of authority and taking bribes,” he said.

“If the allegations -- and for most of them we have evidence -- are proved, the legitimacy of the election will be seriously undermined,” he said.

But the IEC's deputy chief electoral officer Zekria Barakzai told AFP that the election body had not received any official information about the summons.

The moves came as analysts warned that Karzai's support in the new parliament appeared to have dwindled and as his main opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, claimed that his loyalists won more than 90 seats in the 249-member chamber.

Candidates who stood for election on September 18 have taken to the streets in towns and cities across the country, denouncing final results that the UN mission and US embassy in Kabul had been swift to welcome.

“The president... calls on unhappy candidates and their supporters to avoid violence and disorder and take their complaints to the legal authorities to be addressed in the light of the law,” said a statement from Karzai's office.

Updated Nov 25, 2010 04:23pm

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