Afghanistan’s Abdullah vows to reject poll audit results Comments by presidential candidate further hamper bid to resolve political deadlock over presidential elections

KABUL (AA) – Afghanistan’s presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has said he will not accept the findings of an audit of the country’s election results, dealing another blow to efforts to end the political impasse in the country.

Results from the much-awaited audit of the presidential elections, which oversaw a recount of more than eight million votes under the monitoring of national and international observers and representatives of the United Nations, concluded last week, but are expected to strongly indicate that Abdullah’s rival, Ashraf Ghani, could be declared victorious.

Abdullah said on Monday that he would not tolerate a “fraudulent government for a single day”, adding the audit had been “launched hurriedly despite our calls to wait”.

He also alleged the Independent Election Commission (IEC) had corrupted the electoral process and once again declared that he was the genuine winner and would meet people across the country to decide his future strategy.

Atta Muhammad Noor, Abdullah’s strong ally and governor of the northern Balk province, has previously asked supporters to be prepared to agitate in favor of Abdullah.

However, he said on Monday that the peace and stability of the country would not be harmed.

Afghans voted in the final round of presidential elections on June 14, but the process has yet to deliver a new ruler to the war-torn country amid allegations of fraud.

Referring to a recent telephone conversation with US President Barak Obama, Abdullah said the international community was well aware of what was at stake in Afghanistan.

“A fraudulent government cannot stand against threats facing the region and the world,” he said.

According to a deal brokered between the rival Afghan candidates by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Ghani and Abdullah are bound to accept the audit results and form a unity government while granting a newly created post of Chief Executive to the losing candidate.

Afghan political analysts say the power and authority of the Chief Executive is at the heart of the ongoing dispute, with Abdullah demanding a stronger post and Ghani resisting.

 

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