News / Asia

Fraud Allegations Threaten Historic Afghan Political Transition

Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 15, 2014.
Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 15, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
Afghanistan’s frontrunner presidential hopeful says the ballot counting process should stop, alleging widespread vote fraud.  The political turmoil threatens to derail a transfer of power from one democratically elected government to the next.
 
Millions of Afghans turned out June 14th to participate in the country’s first presidential runoff election, defying violent attempts by Taliban insurgents to disrupt the voting.
 
The runoff pitted the winner of the first round, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, against the number two vote getter, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.
 
But speaking at a hurriedly called news conference Wednesday in Kabul, Abdullah, announced he is boycotting the vote-counting process because the Independent Election Commission has failed to address his complaints.  He went accused top officials of the commission of helping what he described as blatant and mass fraud.

"We do not have trust over the commission in their conduct.  We do emphasize on the legitimacy of the process and that is for the legitimacy of the process that we suspend our engagement with the commission," said  Abdullah. "We have asked our monitors to leave the counting centers of the commission in Kabul as well as in the provinces, and we are asking for the counting process to be stopped immediately.”

Abdullah cautioned that if the commission continues counting ballots it will have no legitimacy.  He says he has been repeatedly demanding the election commission remove one of its top officials for directly interfering in the vote.

The presidential hopeful alleged the turnout figure announced by the Commission was inflated, suggesting it was meant to help his rival.  

Abdullah said an option to resume the counting process could be the formation of a U.N.-supervised committee in which members of the rival presidential candidates are represented.

A spokesman for the Election Commission says it will look into Abdullah’s complaints, but the counting process will not be halted.

In a message on Twitter, Ghani has said his campaign "condemns every vote of fraud" and if anyone has evidence of fraud they must refer it to the national Electoral Complaint Commission.

The former finance minister added his observers will continue to do their job and remain engaged with the Election Commission as the local and international observers doing.    

Lawmaker Fawzia Koofi, a leading women’s rights activist in Afghanistan, tells VOA that the political crisis is a worrying development for war-shattered Afghans.     

“If there is no clean and clear result of the election in a transparent manner that could convince both candidates, people obviously will lose trust over elections especially we will be witnessing parliamentary elections in three months time," said Koofi. "If this election is not very clear in terms of the fraud allegations and looking at the fraud allegations and the demands of front candidates in terms of bringing more transparency in the process, it could certainly undermine the trust over institutions.”

The winner of the election will replace President Hamid Karzai who has led the nation since the U.S.-led military intervention ousted the Taliban in 2001, but constitutional term limits prevented him from seeking another term.  The Election Commission, according to the official timetable, will announce preliminary results on July 2, while the final results are due July 22.  

All U.S.-led foreign combat troops plan to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of this year and a trouble-free political transition is considered crucial for an orderly winding down of the military mission.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: safi from: usa
June 18, 2014 10:06 PM
U voted for karzie and know you voted for that big loser Abdullah. That's mean you are fraud too. Their are 80% pashtoo in Afghanistan..you think Abdullah will win,, keep dreaming,, Abdullah is the biggest fraud in Afghanistan. Like karzie was and is know


by: Imal from: Afghanistan
June 18, 2014 12:00 PM
Dear my lovely country man Mr Haroon. You know why and what made you to post your comment here you know the answer and I want to also bring it before you that it was the democratic gains of our mother country during the last decade and as a result of which your so empowered and informed citizen using the freedom of speech you are now engaging in civil discourse, so thanks to Democarcy and in order to have furthered in our society, lets ask and urge the two candidates to accept the elections results.

It would be unforgettable mistake of any candidate to make this new baby of democracy fall apart rather they should help move forward in our country. Thanks for the international support and the democracy which can't be under any circumstances sacrifice for the sake of few dirty politicians who were once in the recent history of the country were playing with the guns and involved in totalitarian rule.


by: Haron from: Afghanistan
June 18, 2014 10:19 AM
I got his behalf of statements by national TVs. he clarified about the votes counting process. as a voter and citizen of Afghanistan it is unacceptable for me to accept a fraud president. why? in 2004 my mother and my father both had received their voting cards to vote for president Karzai. when I got my age eligibility I received and voted to President Karzai due his good relation with international community (USA, Canada, European countries, and Asia countries) this year my mother, father, me, and my two sisters were eligible to vote for their desire candidate.

We got a big lesson that Karzai was and is not a trusted person for all people of Afghanistan and international community. he had two candidate (Zalmai Rasoul, and Ashraf Ghani) and he supported directly to get win to reject security agreement with NATO, ISAF, and USA troops at first provision by Karzai to these two candidates. besides Ashraf Ghani want to rule the Taliban and Dr. Najib member of ex-Communist regime in Afghanistan and several times he defended from China. Indian. Russia even UK policies in his statements in TVs Interviews. our 5 family members voted to Dr. Abdullah "Abdullah" because we watched that he try to strong the relation between international community and Afghanistan to avoid Afghanistan from more sanctions (Economic, Security, and bilateral agreements).

Supposedly if Ashraf Ghani win the election by fraud votes what happen? first Afghanistan will be lonely if he accepts Karzai condition to reject Bilateral Security Agreement with NATO, ISAF, and USA troops. second all youth feel that any illiterate person who go to outside of Afghanistan and study for 2 years at any section may win presidential palace as a president. no youth may remain in Afghanistan. even I'm ready to leave Afghanistan and enter to another country as a refugee to pass my time and feel that I maybe a boss, minister, or as a president after 30 years. what it impact if every young boy leave Afghanistan? Afghanistan lose it's energy. Afghanistan lose it's fund when a young boy leave Afghanistan he may keep more money with himself and carry to another country. Afghanistan may lose it's real labor force. Afghanistan may lose it's democracy process. next five years no candidate may candidate himself on future. if we see all sides may damage.

I request as very young boy from Mr. Ghani to follow the path of Dr. Abdullah "Abdullah" that he passed up the election to Karzai. this is your round to pass up the election to Abdullah. and we should watch what he can do on going five years.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid