News / Asia

Abdullah Threatens to Withdraw From Afghan Political Process

Afghan election workers count ballot papers for an audit of the presidential run-off, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2014.
Afghan election workers count ballot papers for an audit of the presidential run-off, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2014.
Ayaz Gul

After boycotting a United Nations-supervised audit of all votes from June's disputed runoff, Afghan presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah has now threatened to pull out from the entire political process if his demands are not met in 24 hours.

Controversies surrounding Afghanistan’s presidential election are undermining hopes for a smooth political transition in the war-ravage nation.

The Afghan Independent Election Commission [IEC] and U.N. officials say that weeks of auditing ballot boxes from the presidential runoff is near completion.

Validation process

Last week when they began the long-awaited process of validating or invalidating suspicious boxes, Abdullah pulled his observers, saying his demands for tightening the criteria were not met.

At the request of U.N. officials, rival presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani also withdrew his observers to ensure the integrity of the internationally-monitored vote scrutiny and its outcome.

Watch related video report by VOA's Meredith Buel

Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Futurei
X
Meredith Buel
August 29, 2014 10:24 PM
Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.


Political negotiations between Ghani’s and Abdullah’s teams continued for devising a framework needed to establish a so-called “national unity government” after the audit results are announced.

But on Monday a spokesman for former foreign minister Abdullah said those talks have collapsed, blaming the other side for the failure.

Spokesman Muslim Sadaat said that despite public pledges, the Ghani campaign has gone back on its commitment to form a national unity government.

“They kept wasting the time and people are very tired and exhausted of the process," Saadat said.

"Therefore, we have set a deadline for tomorrow, which means in 24 hours if they did not come and agreed with our requests and demands both on the political and technical sides, we will withdraw from the process and any result coming out of this illegal, illegitimate process will not be acceptable for our team,” he said.

News conference

Sadaat said Abdullah will hold a news conference on Tuesday to explain “how and what went wrong with both the political and technical process.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brokered the deal in early August between Ghani and Abdullah to prevent a political crisis and form a national unity government.

Washington intervened because Abdullah, who topped the first round of presidential voting in April, rejected the June runoff preliminary results that put Ghani well ahead of him, alleging massive fraud.

His supporters threatened to form a parallel government in Kabul.

Observers such as Lisa Curtis at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center admitted that a lot of suspicions do surround the outcome of the runoff vote.

“We have to see some compromise with the situation and living up to the agreement that Secretary Kerry brokered between the two leaders, which was essentially that whatever the results were from the recount there would be a unity government in which the loser will basically serve as a chief executive," Curtis said.

"Both leaders need to see that if one of them tries to cheat the other one out of some kind of power in this unity government then both seem to lose,” she added.

The Ghani team has made few public comments about details of their political negotiations, though the presidential candidate has maintained he is ready to make compromises that do not undermine the Afghan constitution.

Karzai involvement

The U.S.-mediated deal is in tatters and deepened the uncertainty about when President Hamid Karzai can hand over power to a successor.

Karzai had earlier planned Tuesday as the inauguration day for the new president, in time for him to attend a NATO summit in Wales two days later. But that was pushed back after the United Nations said it would be able to complete the audit only by around Sept. 10.

Karzai is not going to quit power without the completion of the process, a spokesman said.

“The President is not considering the step down before the official transfer of power to the new Afghan President. It is unconstitutional to step down before officially transferring the power to his successor,” Aimal Faizi said in a statement.

Audit deadline

The United Nations hopes the audit of more than 8 million votes will be completed by September 10, paving the way for war-torn Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power.

A peaceful political transition is seen critical ahead of the planned withdrawal of the bulk of U.S.-led international forces by end of this year.

The prolonged political transition comes at a time of deep anxiety in Afghanistan as the United States, Kabul's biggest aid donor, and other NATO nations withdraw their troops after nearly 13 years of fighting Taliban insurgents.

Officials and diplomats fear a breakdown between the presidential candidates and the power-brokers who have a stake in the process could trigger conflict along ethnic lines, on top of the deadly insurgency.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hamidi from: Kabul Afghanistan
September 02, 2014 1:27 AM
Shame on you Dual Abdullah, every time when you know that you will lose you Boycott the process and you escaping, from the truth,

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
September 01, 2014 10:57 PM
Mr.Abdullah wants chair by force, this is sad story. Politicians Must think National interest first and then any thing else. He is power hungry man, every now and then he issued statement to boycott, which is foolish thing. He has to wait till the end and then accept public opinion with open heart. Do not create problems for poor Afghani. Afghans needs a Govt who care for public and not his personal bank account.

by: mrr a from: new york
September 01, 2014 2:05 PM
Who care? there will no change in Afghanistan.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More