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

Video VOA ‘Town Hall’ Shines Light on Ebola Crisis

Experts call for greater speed in identification and treatment of deadly disease More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Funding Program Helps Extremely Poor in Ghana

Broad objective for Ghana's social cash transfer program is to lessen the impact of poverty on the most vulnerable people, elderly, orphans, those with disabilities 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid