News / Asia

    Afghan Election Chief Resigns

    Ziaul Haq Amarkhel, head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission, resigned Monday. At center, he's shown leaving a news conference in Kabul June 23, 2014.
    Ziaul Haq Amarkhel, head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission, resigned Monday. At center, he's shown leaving a news conference in Kabul June 23, 2014.

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    VOA News

    Afghanistan’s chief election official resigned Monday, following allegations of fraud in the country’s runoff presidential race just over a week ago.
     
    Ziaul Haq Amarkhel announced he was stepping down as Independent Elections Commission secretary, a move that prompted presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah to suggest he would end his boycott of ballot counting after the June 14 contest pitting him against former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.
     
    "Now the door is open for us to talk to the [election] commission and talk about the conditions and circumstances that will help the process," Abdullah said at a news conference, according to the Associated Press. "We do believe in transparency of the process and we will defend the legitimacy of the process."
     
    Abdullah had announced last week that he would ignore the count, calling it fraudulent.  He accused election officials of helping to stuff ballot boxes the night before the election.
     
    He had called on Amarkhel to resign after Kabul police found Amarkhel in a truck with thousands of ballots.
     
    The election chief decried the charges, saying Monday he was leaving office to further "the national interest" and resolve the political crisis.
     
    Abdullah and Afghan President Hamid Karzai had asked the United Nations to step in and sort out the election.
     
    UN suggests approval
     
    The U.N. mission in Afghanistan acknowledged Amarkhel ‘s resignation, calling it “a step that helps protect Afghanistan’s historic political transition,” it said in a statement Monday, AP reported.
     
    The runoff election’s preliminary results are due July 2 and the finals are expected July 23, the AP reported, citing the election commission’s timetable. Karzai has set Aug. 2 as the inauguration date.
     
    At a news conference last week, Abdullah said, "Unfortunately, no election actually took place in some areas of Afghanistan. Just a process was going on under the name of the election."
     
    "Election officials were caught moving ballots, but there still needs to be an investigation before we draw conclusions," said Jonah Blank, a senior political scientist at the think tank RAND Corp.’s offices in Arlington, Virginia.  
     
    Thomas Gouttierre, who directs the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said Abdullah’s calling the election a fraud  "more than anything else displays [his] apprehension about the possibility of ballot box stuffing," because Abdullah knows that has gone on in the past.
     
    Gouttierre said in the 2009 election, Abdullah and Karzai both had organizations that stuffed ballot boxes.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: abdulwaheed from: kabul
    June 24, 2014 7:24 AM
    Mr.Amarkhail resigned after the sound audio the Abdullah's team released to media about his fraud in the election.actually Amarkhail must drive to the justice.and also be punished for the fraud that he has done.

    In Response

    by: Proud Afghan (N.A.S.) from: Kabul
    June 24, 2014 8:06 AM
    We are not representing Mr. Amarkhil or Mr. Abdullah Abdullah here, you are missing the point. Anyone accused of facilitating electoral fraud should be dealt according the law and constitution of Afghanistan. Moreover, please review the comments of Mr. Abdullah’s vice-presidential running mate, Mohammad Mohaqiq posted yesterday by The Washington Post: While Monday’s announcement seemed a small step toward the resumption of the electoral process in Kabul, many here remained worried about what will happen when the official results are released. In an interview, Abdullah’s vice-presidential running mate, Mohammad Mohaqiq, said he was sure Abdullah had won by more than a million votes. If the election commission announces a Ghani victory, he said, “Afghanistan will be paralyzed.”

    by: Hamidi from: Kabul Afghanistan
    June 24, 2014 1:50 AM
    Actually Mr. Amarkhil didn't resigned due to any crime, the main reason of his resignation from that position was that he don't wanted to work anymore for the babies Like: Dabble Abdullah and his Time, who is mad for power and dreamed the Presidential house since a long time, in fact Mr. Amarkhail want to clean the tear of Dabble Abdullah and his team,
    Best
    Hamidi
    In Response

    by: Proud Afghan from: Poor-i-Stan
    June 24, 2014 6:59 AM
    It is quite ironic when you see the very famous and so called professional media outlets taking side one way or another. For example in the report above it’s all about the resignation of Mr. Amarkhil and the accusation of Mr. Abdullah Abdullah. However, there was a press conference from Mr. Ashraf Ghani’s team yesterday in this regards and noting has been mentioned here.

    As a young Afghan, we need peace and stability in Afghanistan. Please stop playing your dirty proxy games in this land, we are tired of decades of foreign meddling and ethnic violence. We were a proud Nation, unfortunately the politics in today’s Afghanistan is dominated by warlords, drug dealers, supported by regional and international powers for their own strategic benefits.

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