(TOLO News): A statement read at the gathering called for the “people’s voice to be heard” and for “fraud” to be prevented in the election.  Two months after the September election, preliminary results have still not been announced by the Independent Election Commission.  An ongoing vote recount has been delayed by members of Abdullah’s campaign team who have shut down local election centers in the provinces.  Abdullah’s team, along with other election teams, contend that several hundred thousand votes currently in the IEC tally are fraudulent and should be removed.  The routes to downtown Kabul were closed to traffic early on Friday morning by security forces who instructed protestors to choose Chaman-e-Hozoori area as their final destination instead of Pashtunistan Square, which is in front of the Presidential Palace. But the protestors made attempts to reach their pre-planned destination.  Senior members of the Stability and Convergence campaign team — politicians and former politicians — were among the protestors. Abdullah’s Stability and Convergence Team has stated the following:  “The ‘fraud’ team, the international community, and the election commission should hear the people’s voice. We will defend their rights.” The IEC should “immediately” remove the 300,000 fraudulent votes and it should prove its impartially. The international community should act responsibly to guide the electoral process back towards a legal path. The international partners should not allow Afghanistan to return to a dark past. The 2019 presidential election is a line separating dictatorship and democracy.  The security forces should ensure the safety of the protestors and should stay impartial in the process. “If the IEC and other stakeholders do not respond to the legitimate demands of the Stability and Convergence campaign team, we will use all legitimate, peaceful and people-oriented options to uproot fraud and take power through the legitimate votes of the people.” “We still support the people’s movement to prevent the vote recount process.”  This comes as the IEC chief Hawa Alam Nuristani on Thursday reiterated that the vote recount process will continue, and she assured the public that only biometric-based votes will be counted.  She called on the candidates to cooperate with the vote recount process, which she claimed has been completed in 26 provinces.  The Stability and Convergence campaign team has specified four categories of fraudulent votes:

•    137,630 votes that were originally flagged for irregularities but are now counted in the total tally.

•    102,012 votes which were cast before or after election day, based on the timestamp of the biometric devices.

•    Votes validated by duplicate photos or photos of photos.

•    Votes from 700 devices and memory cards that were lost.