News / Asia

    Karzai Urges Quick End to Afghan Election Stalemate

    U.S. troops assess the damage to an armored vehicle of NATO-led International Security Assistance force at the site of a suicide attack in Jalalabad province, Aug. 24, 2014.
    U.S. troops assess the damage to an armored vehicle of NATO-led International Security Assistance force at the site of a suicide attack in Jalalabad province, Aug. 24, 2014.
    Ayaz Gul

    Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged rival candidates to accelerate and conclude a U.N.-supervised audit of all 8.1 million ballots cast in the hotly disputed June 14 presidential runoff election.

    The slow-moving anti-fraud audit is fueling economic and political uncertainty in the country and worrying war-torn Afghanistan's Western backers.

    Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) is conducting the anti-fraud audit of nearly 23,000 ballot boxes from polling stations nationwide.
     
    The massive exercise began a month ago under direct U.N. supervision, with the participation of agents of candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. 

    The process is being monitored by hundreds of domestic and foreign observers.
     
    U.N. officials said about 70 percent of the ballot boxes have been processed and they are pressing both candidates to fully cooperate in completing the audit soon.

    Observers cite frequent walkouts, verbal disputes and sometimes physical brawls between Ghani and Abdullah's representatives.

    Meeting with candidates

    On Sunday, officials said Karzai met with both presidential hopefuls at his palace to urge them “to cooperate with the concerned authorities to expedite” the vote scrutiny process.

    Karzai was quoted as telling Ghani and Abdullah the government is prepared to inaugurate his successor by the agreed upon time frame.

    Afghan monitors involved in the audit process are skeptical about the presidential claims in view of what they see as a  persistent lack of cooperation between representatives of both the candidates and certain legal requirements.   
     
    Chairman Naeem Ayubzada of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan has deployed more than 100 experts to observe the audit process. 

    Ayubzada spoke to VOA shortly after observing Sunday’s proceedings at the election commission.

    “The process is very slow at the IEC. And I do not see a cooperative approach by candidate agents and candidate teams within the (auditing) process," he said.

    "I do not see any willingness by the candidates to accept the (final) results.  [So,] based on our observations on the current process, I think it would be very difficult for the process to be finished on the deadline given or pointed out by President Karzai," Ayubzada said.
     
    Ayubzada said the IEC plans to begin the process of invalidating suspicious votes from Monday.

    After results are tallied at the end of the large-scale audit exercise, he said, an Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) will have to complete its adjudication of complaints filed by both candidates before the election commission announces final results.
     
    September meeting

    Meanwhile, Karzai met with outgoing American commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford.
     
    A statement from Karzai's office said the Afghan leader emphasized the need for a new president to be sworn in so Afghanistan is represented at the NATO conference in Britain in early September.

    The NATO meeting will discuss future plans for Afghanistan as the bulk of international combat forces will withdraw from the country by end of the year.

    On Friday, President Barack Obama spoke to the presidential candidates, urging them to work closely to conclude Afghanistan's election process and prevent a political crisis.   

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora