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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.