Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah alleges vote fraud
KABUL, Afghanistan — Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday demanded that Afghan electoral authorities stop counting ballots from a weekend runoff vote, citing new allegations of widespread fraud. The election commission refused and appealed to all sides to await final results.
The discord set the stage for a showdown that could threaten Afghanistan's first transfer of authority as a democracy.
Abdullah, a onetime aide to a famed warlord during the Afghan anti-Soviet guerrilla campaign, said monitors deployed by his campaign to the polls had recorded ballot box stuffing and other irregularities. He announced his team was suspending relations with the Independent Election Commission, accusing it of interfering in the vote and inflating turnout figures.
The finger-pointing in the June 14 election pitting Abdullah against Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai mars what Western officials had hoped would be an important step toward democracy for the troubled country as the U.S.-led coalition winds down its 13-year combat mission. Both candidates have promised to sign a security pact with the United States that would allow nearly 10,000 American troops to stay in the country beyond the end of this year to train Afghan security forces and perform counterterrorism operations.
President Hamid Karzai, the only leader the country has known since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban, was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.
Abdullah's team has said its exit polling shows Ahmadzai with a 1 million-vote lead in the current round and claimed election workers and government officials had engineered fraud to help him.
“We announce that we have no confidence or trust in the election bodies,” Abdullah said at a news conference. “The counting process should stop immediately and if that continues, it will have no legitimacy.”
In Washington, at a Senate hearing on Afghanistan, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan counseled patience in light of the controversy over the second-round vote.
“It's going to be some time before we know the outcome,” James Dobbins said. “It's going to be a difficult several weeks.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- North Korean student escapes abduction bid in Paris
- 28 non-Muslims killed in attack on Kenyan bus by Somalia’s Islamic terrorists
- Interpol seeks environmental crime suspects
- Islamic State drive for Kobani blunted
- Russian diplomat Lavrov accuses West of seeking ‘regime changee_SSRq
- Coal corruption scandal saps enthusiasm for eastern Ukraine rebels
- Israeli mayor suspends jobs of some Arabs, citing synagogue attack
- North Korea threatens to resume nuclear tests
- Annual global obesity costs rise to $2T
- Hitler painting expected to fetch $60K at auction
- China reportedly assembling island big enough for airstrip