News / Asia

Karzai Accepts US-Mediated Election Deal as 'Bitter Pill'

VOA Pashto host Shaista Sadat conducts an exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, July 14, 2014.
VOA Pashto host Shaista Sadat conducts an exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, July 14, 2014.
Aru Pande

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has reluctantly accepted a U.S.-mediated deal to audit all the votes from the country's presidential runoff election, following allegations of fraud during the voting process.

In an exclusive interview with VOA's Afghan Service, President Karzai said he did not welcome the agreement, but accepted it as a "bitter pill" due to the current political conditions in Afghanistan.

"I accepted it because I wanted to get past this stage very quickly because the elections have already taken a lot of time in this country.  No country in the world has such a lengthy electoral process and this must be corrected as well.  The Afghan people are waiting, very much, very impatiently, to have their new president," said Karzai.

Tensions were high in the country after presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, both claimed victory in the June 14 runoff to replace Karzai.

Former Afghan foreign minister Abdullah dismissed the runoff results that put Ghani ahead by one million votes as tainted with irregularities.  He accused Ghani, election authorities and President Karzai of colluding against him to rig the vote.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Kabul and held hours of intense negotiations with Ghani and Abdullah on July 12, and both candidates agreed to a U.N.-supervised audit of the eight million ballots.

According to the deal, the new president will immediately form a government of national unity.  A senior U.S. official said whatever the outcome of the election audit, the candidate who does not emerge as winner will play a formal role in the new Afghan government.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai Interviewed by Voice of Americai
X
July 15, 2014 9:03 PM
In an exclusive interview with VOA, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called a U.S.-mediated deal to audit all the votes from the country's presidential runoff election "bitter pill" due to the current political conditions in Afghanistan. Here is the full English interview conducted by VOA Pashto host Shaista Sadat.
Watch the full interview

President Karzai says he welcomed the idea of a national unity government, saying all Afghan people should see themselves in their government.  But he was more cautious about reports the candidates agreed to create a parliamentary democracy.

"In order for Afghanistan to have a parliamentary form of government, we must, before that, make sure we have strong institutions, the civil service of the country must be totally apolitical and protected by law," he said.

Karzai said institutions like the military and judiciary should also be protected from political intervention.  He said Afghanistan still needs time to strengthen these institutions in order to move from a presidential to parliamentary system.

As Afghanistan undergoes this transition and his decade in office nears its end, Karzai says that whatever the outcome, he will stand firmly behind the next leader of Afghanistan.

"If ever the next Afghan president or the next government would ask me for advice, I would humbly come and provide that advice.  I will be trying my best to be a factor of help, assistance and stability," said Karzai.

And when VOA asked if Karzai could go back and change one aspect of his presidency, he declined to reveal the "massive change" he would make, noting that he is still president of Afghanistan and must choose his words cautiously.

Read the full transcript of the interview here.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid