News / Asia

Afghanistan's Audit of 23,000 Ballot Boxes Underway

Afghan election commission workers sorts ballot papers for an audit of the presidential run-off votes at a election commission office in Kabul, July 18, 2014.
Afghan election commission workers sorts ballot papers for an audit of the presidential run-off votes at a election commission office in Kabul, July 18, 2014.
VOA News

U.S. officials say Afghan and international officials hope to audit 1,000 ballot boxes per day, as each of the eight million votes cast in Afghanistan's runoff election are examined for legitimacy.

U.S. Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman told reporters in Washington Friday that so far more than 133 ballot boxes of a total of 23,000 have been audited since the process began on Thursday.

Feldman said the audit will ramp up once the full regiment of international observers are in place in Kabul. In addition to the domestic and foreign observers, representatives of presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, United Nations officials, and media representatives will also be taking part in the process.

In a deal mediated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Abdullah and Ghani agreed to a full U.N.-supervised audit of the entire runoff poll and committed to abide by the final results.  

“[C]learly what Secretary Kerry produced during his visit to Kabul was just about in the category of miraculous,” said Ryan Crocker, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq in an interview with VOA.  “And I think it demonstrates yet again how crucial a sustained, high level U.S. role is in the complex political system of Afghanistan, and indeed in Iraq where conflict is also raging.

Millions of Afghans took part in the first round of presidential elections April 5, defying threats of violence by the Taliban while election authorities claimed the turnout was even higher in the June 14 runoff vote.  Abdullah led the first round but trails in preliminary second round results that put Ghani in the lead by about one million votes.
 
Abdullah rejected the outcome, accusing President Hamid Karzai, election authorities and the Ghani campaign of colluding against him to rig the vote that could lead to the first peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history.

Feldman says under the U.S.-brokered deal, both candidates have agreed to immediately abide by the results of the audit, with the winner serving as president and establishing a national unity government. The deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan would not confirm whether that government will include the creation of a prime minister post alongside that of the president, and said the framework must be put forth by the Afghans.

"There will be challenges ahead," Crocker told VOA.  "First, the audit process itself will have to be and have to be perceived to be, fair and transparent by both candidates.  And both candidates will have to accept the outcome. There will also clearly be challenges in defining exactly what the role of this new executive is going to be.  That was all left to be determined.  And I imagine we will have some pretty sporty conversations among Afghans as to what power he will actually have. "

Feldman also said he could not give an end date to the auditing process, but hoped it would not be too much longer than the previously scheduled inauguration date of August 2 that has since been delayed.

The U.S. official also noted that current Afghan President Karzai worked closely with Secretary Kerry to broker the deal that includes both a technical and political framework for the election process.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid