News / Asia

Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Futurei
X
Meredith Buel
August 01, 2014 10:11 PM
United Nations and Afghan officials say they will restart Saturday the auditing of votes cast in the country’s runoff presidential election. The move comes after repeated delays that are threatening an orderly and peaceful transfer of power. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports the ballots -- more than 8 million of them -- have been arriving from every corner of Afghanistan.
Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future
Meredith Buel

United Nations and Afghan officials say they will restart Saturday the auditing of votes cast in the country’s runoff presidential election. The move comes after repeated delays that are threatening an orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

The ballots -- more than 8 million of them -- have been arriving from every corner of Afghanistan.

The ballot boxes are piled high in stifling hot aluminum warehouses on the edge of Kabul. More than 22,000 are to be examined for signs of fraud.

The deal was cut during an emergency visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Both candidates have agreed to abide by the results of the audit and that the winner of the election will serve as president and will immediately form a government of national unity," said Kerry.

Ongoing disruptions

The audit has been plagued, however, by disagreements and a shortage of international observers, creating a chaotic atmosphere.

Afghan expert Scott Smith said, “The problem is we are in sort of a state of suspended animation on this very, very crucial issue of trying to get a result from this presidential election that, don’t forget, was first held on the fifth of April.”

And while the candidates agreed to the audit -- it has taken weeks to reach an agreement on the details.

Jan Kubis of the U.N. said, “This opens the doors to the next stage and, in a way, almost final stage of the audit.”

So far, only a fraction of the ballots have been examined amid allegations of massive fraud.

Faltering economy

Analysts say the political uncertainty is hurting the Afghan economy. Potential investors are hedging their bets on the future.

“The concern is that we will not have a government where the authority is clear and the legitimacy is based on an electoral outcome at a time when Afghanistan desperately needs that kind of clarity and that kind of legitimacy,” said Smith.

Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents are making gains on the battlefield. The advances come as the U.S. prepares to withdraw combat forces by the end of the year.

Jed Ober of Democracy International said, “The way the country can put itself in the strongest position to fight the Taliban and to show the rest of the world it has resolve against the Taliban is to move forward toward a democratic, peaceful transfer of power.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign a security agreement that would allow the United States to keep nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan past 2014.

Western military leaders say the pact must be signed by the new president no later than early September.

Analysts say delays in the election audit could seriously jeopardize Afghanistan’s future.

 

 

 

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess 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.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs