News / Asia

Afghan Vote Deemed Success, Results Uncertain

Afghan Vote Deemed Success, Results Uncertaini
X
Sharon Behn
April 06, 2014 8:08 PM
Afghanistan's presidential vote is being hailed as a success, with seven million voters braving Taliban threats to go to the polls. But as Sharon Behn reports from Kabul, Afghans say the true success of the election lies with the candidates accepting the results.
Sharon Behn
kabul  Afghanistan's presidential vote is being hailed as a success, with seven million voters braving Taliban threats to go to the polls.  But Afghans say the true success of the election lies with the candidates accepting the results.

 For one rare weekend Afghans like Ismail Qoreshi were happy.  Standing outside Gold’s Gym in central Kabul, Qoreshi says the weekend presidential elections were a huge success.

He says, "this is a happy moment for Afghans, we have voted for a new leader." ... "95 percent of the people are happy that things were quiet and they cast their votes. It is good for our people."

About seven million voters braved Taliban death threats to cast their ballots for a new president Saturday. 

U.S. President Barack Obama commended the Afghan people on Saturday’s voter turnout for an election he described as “critical” to securing Afghanistan’s democratic future as well as continued international support.

The vote, says Andrew Wilder of the United States Institute of Peace, was a decisive message to the militants.

"If seven million Afghans turned out to vote, despite all these threats, I think there is only to interpret that as a real significant defeat for the Taliban," he said.

But while the voting is over, the election process is not. Allegations of fraud have begun to come in and the Taliban on Sunday attacked a convoy carrying boxes full of ballots to be counted. The election workers were killed, and the boxes destroyed.

Wilder, who was in Afghanistan for the vote, says officials need to thoroughly investigate all claims of fraud or the election will risk losing credibility in the eyes of the people.

"There are areas where there probably was fraud," he said. "But given the turnout figures, I would be surprised if the fraud were at such a decisive level that it would have a major impact on the outcome."

If successful, Saturday's election will be Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power from one elected leader to another.

On the streets of Kabul, Abdul Habib says it is time his voice, and that of all Afghans, is heard.

He says, "the candidates have to respect the vote of the people ... the people voted despite the very hard conditions, they came out and cast their ballots, and the candidates should respect the verdict of the people."

The worry for now is that if the candidates start to squabble over who won, their fight could spill onto the streets, erasing Saturday's voting success.

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

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
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.
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