News

Afghan Election Recount Begins Before Final, Preliminary Results Released

Multimedia

Audio

Afghan election officials have begun recounting disputed ballots from the August 20 presidential election. The recount amid fraud allegations leaves open the possibility of a second round for the disputed election.

The recount, ordered by the Election Complaints Commission, began this week and comes before the full, election results have been announced.  The final preliminary numbers have been held up because of what the government-run Independent Election Commission describes as "technical problems" with the official forms for the remaining untabulated two percent of ballot boxes.

Noor Mohammed Noor, an IEC spokesman has told VOA's Afghan Service those forms are being sent back to the provinces for clarification.

The nearly complete results show President Hamid Karzai with a commanding lead over former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. The incumbent is currently above the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff election.

But the U.N.-backed Election Complaints Commission is ordering a significant recount of ballots from every province - covering 10 percent of all polling stations.  

Canadian Grant Kippen is the chairman of the ECC, of which three of the five members are appointed by the U.N. Secretary General.

"We have received 2,300 complaints of which we have prioritized those complaints and over 700 have been deemed to be what we call a "Priority A' complaint, of high priority," he said.  "Those are the complaints that we are actually dealing with at this point in time."

VOA News asked Kippen if the on-site investigations of massive ballot box stuffing and other acts of election fraud will take weeks or, as some predict, months to complete.

"I really cannot give you an answer in terms of a definitive date by which we are going to be done," said Kippen.  "We are dealing with the complaints received, this order that we issued last week to the Election Commission.  There is this audit and recount process.  It is difficult to put a timeline to both of these activities at this point."

A runoff would likely have to be delayed until next year if not held very soon to avoid the impending winter, which would not make balloting logistically possible in much of rural Afghanistan.

Presidential candidate Abdullah says if the results are delayed until next year then Afghanistan should have a transitional government put into place.

"I would be more comfortable with the results coming out before the winter, yes, sooner rather than later," he said. "Should that other scenario, which is not preferable, happen, on that I think a sort of caretaker government has to be put together preferably with not Mr. Karzai at the top."

Abdullah says he should also not be the leader of such a temporary administration.

Abudllah's campaign contends that up to one of every four votes cast in last month's election are under suspicion of being tainted.

The foreign policy chief for the European Union, Javier Solana, has told reporters in Brussels that while he would like to see the process go faster the most important aspect is to have credible results in the end.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir says the fraud allegations cannot be ignored and his European counterparts will insist the complaints be thoroughly scrutinized.

Many Western countries initially hailed the election as a victory for the democratic process.  The Taliban, ousted from power by a U.S. invasion in 2001, had vowed to disrupt balloting.

The United States has the largest military force in the country among the 42-nation coalition fighting the eight-year-old war against the insurgents.  

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs