News / Asia

Afghan Candidates Agree to Vote Audit

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Afghanistan's presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, July 11, 2014.
  • This image released by the Afghan presidential palace shows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talking with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace in Kabul, July 11, 2014.
  • Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, center, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the start of a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, July 11, 2014.
  • This image released by the Afghan presidential palace shows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talking with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace in Kabul, July 11, 2014.
Ayaz Gul

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both Afghan presidential candidates have agreed to a full U.N.-supervised audit of last month's runoff election ballots and promised to abide by the results.

Speaking late Saturday at a Kabul press conference with runoff candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani at his side, Kerry said "every single ballot" cast across the country will be audited in Kabul starting in 24 hours.

Ballot boxex, he said, will be flown to the Afghan capital under supervision of U.S. and ISAF security forces for audit by international monitors.

Kerry said the process will take a number of weeks, and that outgoing President Hamid Karzai has agreed to postpone the presidential inauguration date to accommodate the audit.

“Every single ballot that was cast will be audited 100 percent, all 8 million," he said. "This is the strongest possible signal by both candidates of a desire to restore legitimacy to the process and to Afghan democracy. The audit will be carried out in Kabul and it will begin in 24 hours."

Kerry said representatives from both campaigns and international observers will be involved in the oversight of the recounting process. Both candidates say they agree the winner will serve as president and immediately form a national unity government.

Both candidates had claimed victory in the June 14 runoff to replace Karzai, who is constitutionally barred from seeking another term.

Tensions high

Post-election tensions have been high amid the allegations of ballot fraud, just months before international troops are scheduled to leave the country.

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 a 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.

Kerry met with President Karzai for a second time Saturday in an attempt to end the election crisis. Earlier Saturday, Kerry held talks in Kabul with each candidate separately, meeting first with Abdullah and then with Ghani.  

On Friday, the United Nations publicized a plan that would review 3.5 million ballots from 8,050 polling stations — about 44 percent of all ballots cast.

U.S.-led international forces are preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of this year but optimism about leaving behind a politically stable country has been tarnished by the election deadlock.

Militants kill 8

Afghan officials say a roadside bomb killed eight civilians Saturday when the blast hit their vehicle in the volatile southern part of the country.

Officials say two children were wounded in the explosion near the city of Kandahar. At least four women were killed in the blast.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which authorities are blaming on the Taliban.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ALEXANDER THE GREAT from: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
July 12, 2014 6:57 PM
AUDIT AND RECOUNT IS OK FOR THE TIME BEING BUT FORMING THE GOVERNMENT OF ALL OPPOSING PARTIES WITH THE IDEA OF SHARING THE POWER AND COOPERATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN MAINTAINING PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOR THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid