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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs