Afghanistan president hopeful alleges fraud

Abdullah Abdullah demanded a halt to vote-counting over fraud allegations

Kabul: Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday demanded a halt to vote-counting over fraud allegations, taking the country to the brink of a political crisis during its first democratic transfer of power.

Abdullah ramped up his complaints over alleged fraud in Saturday's run-off election by accusing his opponent Ashraf Ghani, outgoing President Hamid Karzai and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of all being involved.

A smooth election was seen as a key test of the 13-year international military and civilian effort to develop Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

But Mr Abdullah’s statement on Wednesday fuelled a growing dispute that could trigger instability as US-led foreign combat troops withdraw by the end of the year.

“We suspend engagement with the (election) commission and we have asked our monitors to leave their offices,” Mr Abdullah said. “We are asking for the counting process to be stopped immediately, if it does not, it will not have any legitimacy.”

He added that “everybody knows... that unfortunately the president of Afghanistan was not impartial.”

( Source : AFP )
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