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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs