News / Asia

    Initial Results Show Ghani Ahead in Afghan Election

    Afghan presidential candidate and presumptive winner Ashraf Ghani addresses a press conference in Kabul on July 5, 2014.
    Afghan presidential candidate and presumptive winner Ashraf Ghani addresses a press conference in Kabul on July 5, 2014.
    Ayaz Gul

    Preliminary results from last month's (June 14) Afghan presidential runoff vote indicate former finance minister Ashraf Ghani is well ahead of his rival candidate Abdullah Abdullah, who topped the first round of voting.

    The results were supposed to be announced last week but recounts at nearly 2,000 polling stations where fraud was alleged forced the Afghan Independent Election Commission to delay them for few days.
     
    Even on Monday, journalists had to wait for several hours before Commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani arrived to declare the results. He said that more than 8 million Afghans voted in the runoff election and that over 56 percent of the tally went to Ashraf Ghani while his rival Abdullah Abdullah received approximately 44 percent.

    Fraud acknowledged

    Ahmad Yusof Nurestani, chairman of the Independent Election Commission, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 7, 2014.Ahmad Yusof Nurestani, chairman of the Independent Election Commission, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 7, 2014.
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    Ahmad Yusof Nurestani, chairman of the Independent Election Commission, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 7, 2014.
    Ahmad Yusof Nurestani, chairman of the Independent Election Commission, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 7, 2014.

    However, the chief election commissioner cautioned against drawing any conclusions at this stage.

    Nouristani said "the announcement of preliminary results does not mean that the leading candidate is the winner", adding that "probe into [rigging] complaints might change the outcome."
     
    He acknowledged that vote fraud took place, saying that even “some governors and government officials” were involved in it. Nouristani promised to conduct a wider probe before announcing final results, which are due later this month (July 22).

    Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks at a press conference at his residence in Kabul, July 6, 2014.Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks at a press conference at his residence in Kabul, July 6, 2014.
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    Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks at a press conference at his residence in Kabul, July 6, 2014.
    Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks at a press conference at his residence in Kabul, July 6, 2014.

    Abdullah refuses to accept any results until the election commission invalidates all “dirty votes” and has claims to have received majority of the “clean votes”. 

    His representatives have been talking with Ghani’s team to agree on a comprehensive audit of polling stations where rigging allegedly took place. But the negotiations have apparently failed to defuse political tensions stemming from allegations of what Abdullah says “industrial-scale fraud.”

    The U.S. State Department weighed in on the early results saying, "Serious allegations of fraud have been raised and have yet to be adequately investigated," adding that the final election results could change.

    Caution urged

    The director of the privately run Election Watch Organization of Afghanistan, Jandad Spinghar, said that unless the two candidates found a peaceful political solution to the disagreement, Afghanistan may witness violent protests in the coming days.  
     
    “If political negotiation goes well among both candidates or they reach agreement on some sharing [of] power in the future, it might be the only solution to stop that conflict. Otherwise [the] potential for conflict is much [very] high in the current situation,” said Spinghar.
     
    The winner of the election will replace President Hamid Karzai, but the political controversy has dashed hopes for a smooth transfer of power from one elected government to another - the first in the history of Afghanistan. Abdullah alleges that Karzai’s administration has played a role in rigging the vote in favor of Ghani, charges the president’s office rejects.
     
    Ghani, a former World Bank-official, also dismissed allegations his lead in the race is the result of fraud vote. He said he wanted the democratic process to be completed sooner rather than later to end political and economic uncertainty griping Afghanistan.

    An early resolution to the dispute is considered vital at a time when most foreign troops are preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year, while Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks round the country. A bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington is  awaiting the signature of the new Afghan president that would allow around 10,000 American soldiers to stay in the country until the end of 2016.

    Spike in violence

    Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents remain a formidable security risk after vowing to disrupt the election process.

    On Monday, insurgents in northern Afghanistan fired a rocket into a home killing five children.

    In a separate attack Monday gunmen killed five policemen in the western province of Herat.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attacks. “The killing of civilians, especially children, is an inhuman act and against Islam,” he said.

    Analysts believe the contentious election has encouraged the Taliban to step up their attacks.

     

     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Farid muti from: USA
    July 10, 2014 4:28 PM
    Afghan people should think about their country, and how we can keep our country safe with good education, good economy, good environment, and keep clean our country. also our houses should not look like garbage, and we should think how can we teach each other with trust to each other.

    by: Farid Muti from: USA
    July 08, 2014 9:54 PM
    Afghanistan needs good leader like professor Dr Mohammad Hassan Muti ,professor Dr Muti original he born in Herat Afghainstan and had bs civil engineering and master civil Engineering and PHD civil engineering and higher education from USA.

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 4:05 AM
    He kinda looks like Billy Bob Thornton, without hair...........

    by: Farid Muti from: USA
    July 07, 2014 5:52 PM
    Let see america and the good positive think and learn from them today is world of technology and Afghanistan needs some one to run the country with high educate with good experience around world and Afghanistan.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 3:50 AM
    What???? Not sure what you just said?

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 07, 2014 4:20 PM
    A totally predictable situation; in my view, Karzai has influenced the election, very negatively by not having absolute transparency.
    The primary had Dr. Abdullah ahead, and even in the primary serious issues arose. It is hard to believe that such a significant shift in the electorate took place.
    A tainted election, or a perceived to be tainted election, will be very destructive to Afghanistan. Unfortunately Karzai did not absolutely ensure that the election was clean, or even perceived to be clean. Extra controls, dilligent detailed procedures, verifyable neutral people, with acceptable observers, and an iron tight chain of custody of the ballot boxes should have been in place..... Not a good end to these process.
    Not only does Afghanistan still need to confront the Taliban, but now, the country will also have to confront the ethnic and regional divisive centrifugal threats to its existence.
    If this election results situation is not absolutely cleaned = too many results are invalidated/suspected, because of a lack of demonstrable validity, all the results need to be axed, and a new clean election run. This perceived unclean election will be the reason for conflict. Afghanistan will be another Iraq type of split in the making.
    For quite some time, about 8+ yrs, Karzai has not been listening to the good advice he was receiving, but his hard hardheadness prevailed; he was unwilling to see the overall political/demographic reality of Aghanistan; like Maliki, in Iraq, it is very likely that Karzai has doomed his country to grave further conflict.
    At the end of the day Afghanistan, is one of those made up countries, in which many parts of different tribes were artificially and forcefully separated to form Afghanistan,a recipee for never ending conflicts.
    Let us hope Abdullah and Ghani see the light, form a joint gvmt, and deal with the other problems affecting Afghanistan.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 3:48 AM
    Well said! To convey this into American terms, it would be like everytime a Demoncrat won the election, the Repubs would riot and scream foul. And the other way around. But I am referring to just 2 parties, there are many in Afg! They all have political clout and armed supporters. No matter who wins in these types of countries, all the other 'parties' will cry foul and threaten action. You would be correct, Not Again, these guys need to find a way to establish a government that will represent all concerns of all tribes/parties/sects of influence.

    The trouble with Karzai was that he did assure the Afganis that his administration would be inclusive to all. But he has otherwise proven the opposite, making only his 'sect' concerns as exclusive. The same as Obama promised that he would unite the parties that were divided by Bush. The parties are worse than ever! Obama also promised transparency. OMG!!!! he has been the exact opposite. Sorry Not Again, I accuse you of ripping on USA, but I do in hopes that our people will see that when things like this happen in countries like Afg, then people may take up arms and start a war. When things like this happen between Repubs and Democs, then they just jump up and down like children, nobody's life is in jeopardy.

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    July 07, 2014 2:18 PM
    now all people lost their hopes. one hope is division of Afghanistan to find a solution way for better life. the first step is source decryption by enemies of yesterday by the name of Taliban and communist members. and it is about suspended of Gen, Zahir Zahir after preliminary results this night. I think if fraudulent Ashraf get the power Afghanistan goes to division by two sides (North and West) and (South and East). we as eligible voters are have not tolerance to watch these revenge by Communists and Taliban.

    by: mysaaed from: New york City
    July 07, 2014 1:20 PM
    Is this election, Karzai against West or Kazrzai and the West against Abdullah. If Abdullah's father is Pushtoon, Abullah is a pashtoon.based on Afghan culture. In America we have got rid of the ethnicity. We need a president who is able to make cirizens' live better. Get rid of Karzai and their master, West, the Afghans can solve their problems. Is ghani a choice of the West and Karzai or Karzai alone.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 07, 2014 11:58 AM
    SOMEBODY said it; ... What difference does it make?... No matter who gets elected, the country will be split on tribal lines, and it'll remain in a divisive state forever?.... thanks to the US invasion, to rid the Afghan government of the Taliban, who supported Al-Qaeda?..... (Yea, the Taliban are still there, after (13) long years).....

    Only Karzai, a super Afghan patriot, could've held the country together against the Taliban, and against the US "Unequal Treaty" the new leader will sign, because the Afghans don't have the air force, (warplanes, and attack helicopters), the US promised them....... to bad?
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 6:13 AM
    If you wish to understand how Islam has affected women, then read the report from a fed up Muslim reporter in London defending Islam, and the commentary from Colin, the first woman to comment on her article. You defend these people more so than your own Americans! Imagine if Colin was your sister! And for your Karzai loving remarks, Karzai agrees with this type of treatment of women in Islam!
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 3:33 AM
    Sorry for calling you a 'pillow' in the service. I like pillows. They're soft, cuddly, and possess a much higher intelligence than you. Peace out!
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 1:13 AM
    US had made no attempts to get anyone to sign an Unequal Treaty!!!! Not in Iraq, nowhere!!! Unless you are referring to the Chinese Opium Wars, idiot! The Aghanis do have and Air Force, I am here with them, again you idiot!!!! For the last time, before you spit out your rhetorical hate-America comments, go live in a Muslim nation. Live with the Muslims! Let us know how that works out for you! You are a side-line comment junkie! You say you were in the military, as what? A pillow? Join us here in Afghanistan and see for yourself. Easier to spew garbage than to actually know what you are talking about. Show us what Unequal Treaty the US is trying to get them to sign.....SHOW US!!! All of us!!! Prove it to us!!!! Come on boy, prove your words have value!!!!!!
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 08, 2014 1:01 AM
    Man, you really need to provide people the sources of your information. You were a soldier? Of what military????? OK. I AM in Afg! Hope every time this IS my last time!!!! But since you have such in-depth knowledge of how OUR country has betrayed the innocent Karzai, you would have to ask YOURSELF......WHY! What the .... would be the benefit of Obama making a deal with the Taliban? How do you know this information? How do you know that OUR servicemen aren't supplying the Affies with equipment? Where are you getting this information? I am out here, brother! If you can get to a DSN phone, you can call me directly! I am here in AFG!!!!!

    With this draw down, we are destroying armored vehicles! We are tearing down buildings!!! We have been told that Karzai and his military DO NOT HAVE THE NEED FOR ANY OF IT!!!!!!! We are having to pay people to DESTROY MILITARY equipment because the Afg government doesn't want it! WE ARE PAYING TO DO THIS, NOT AFG!!!
    In Response

    by: Abdul Rafiq from: Afghanistan
    July 07, 2014 2:43 PM
    Hahahahahaha. What a joke???? You must be a comedian by profession.

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    July 07, 2014 8:25 AM
    I'm waiting to hear in preliminary results that our president (Dr, Abdullah "Abdullah") is the winner of initial votes. from more happiness some tears covered my eyes.
    In Response

    by: haroon adel from: Baghlan
    July 08, 2014 12:57 AM
    i do think, Ghani can lead Afghanistan at this sensitive moment and will help unity among Afghan ethnicity so far.

    in addition, he has well talent depends on good governance and wisdom of economy too.
    Asharaf Ghani is the only man can change everything in every field in near feature in Afghan Government as people hope so more from his and his team.

    thansk,

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