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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid