News / Asia

    Kerry Seeks Solution to Afghan Vote Dispute

    Kerry in Kabul to Broker Political Resolutioni
    X
    Jeff Custer
    July 11, 2014 5:41 PM
    Top US diplomat country's future "hangs in the balance." VOA's Jeff Custer has more.
    Top US diplomat John Kerry (left) meets with Afghan officials, including outgoing President Hamid Karzai.
    Ayaz Gul

    Seeking a resolution to Afghanistan's bitter election dispute, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday held separate talks with rival Afghan presidential candidates and outgoing President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

    Discussions will continue for a second day in Kabul on Saturday, as allegations of ballot fraud rattle the country.

    Abdullah Abdullah and his political rival Ashraf Ghani both claim victory in the June 14 runoff to replace the outgoing president. Preliminary results show Abdullah trailing Ghani by about one million votes, but Abdullah rejects those results and has alleged widespread fraud and ballot-box stuffing. Abdullah's supporters have been urging him to establish his own government.

    The controversy has worried Afghanistan’s U.S.-led international backers as it threatens to revive deeply rooted ethnic Afghan rivalries and undermine a decade long U.S.-led international effort to politically and economically stabilize the country.

    Ballot review

    The U.N.'s two-week plan would review 3.5 million ballots from 8,050 polling stations, which is about 44 percent of all ballots cast.

    While Ghani's camp supports the proposal, Abdullah is asking for a more far-reaching review.

    U.S. officials say Kerry's mission is to convince Ghani and Abdullah to refrain from declaring victory until an audit of extensive vote fraud allegations is conducted.

    Kerry told reporters after a meeting with the top U.N. representative in Kabul that “we are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan”, saying “the future potential of the transition hangs in the balance” a lot of work needs to be done.

    In a meeting with Kerry, Ghani, a former World Bank official, said he agreed with U.S. calls for a thorough review of fraud allegations.

    "Our commitment is to ensure that the election process enjoys the integrity and the legitimacy that the people of Afghanistan and the world will believe," Ghani said. "Therefore we believe in the most intensive and extensive audit possible to restore faith."

    Ghani’s chief spokesman Daud Sultanzio told VOA that the presidential candidate’s meeting with Kerry was held in a "very positive and constructive environment," and that Ghani has accepted a U.N. proposal for an extensive audit of more than 8,000 polling stations, a demand Abdullah recently put forward. 

    “Discussions [involved] the election issues of the second round and also [United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan] proposals, including triggers for audit," he said. "These audits will be conducting audits of 8,100 polling stations which would consist of 3.5 million votes. We have already indicated our acceptance of this proposal and I hope and we invite Dr. Abdullah and his team also to join us in accepting their own proposal so we can move the process ahead and remove these uncertainties in the country.”

    Abdullah spokesman Muslim Sadaat told VOA that Kerry held “only a preliminary” meeting with the presidential candidate without going into details. 

    “But we are willing to meet them again and talk about a solution for the electoral deadlock," he said. "John Kerry said that [he is] here in Afghanistan to find a solution for this process. Dr. Abdullah once again talked to the U.S. secretary of state regarding the process, problems and challenges that they face, problems and challenges that were inside the [Election and Electoral Complaints] Commissions.”

    Abdullah, a former foreign minister, alleges that President Karzai, the election commission and the Ghani campaign colluded to organize ballot box stuffing, charges that have been denied.

    Abdullah topped the first round of presidential elections in April but did not win more than 50 percent of the vote. Ghani is leading the runoff vote by about a million votes.

    Warning given

    Kerry already has warned Abdullah against using extra-legal means to grab power after his running mate talked about setting up a parallel government.

    The United States says it does not take sides in the election, but does support a credible transparent process.

    As Kerry arrived in Kabul, dozens of protestors blocked a road near the city's international airport, with one man calling for a "political settlement" between the candidates. Another said Afghanistan needed to resolve the election internally, without Kerry's help.

    Related video report by VOA's Meredith Buel, "Kerry Holds Talks in Kabul About Afghan Political Crisis":

    Kerry Holds Talks in Kabul About Afghan Political Crisisi
    X
    July 11, 2014 10:32 PM
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has held talks in Kabul with rival Afghan presidential candidates in an effort to solve a bitter dispute that could threaten the country’s future. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: A.M.E. from: Ontario, Canada
    July 11, 2014 9:00 AM
    Sorry to say this but I can not help but find it amusing:
    Wound up 'Uncle Sam' in his fine suit with makeup and all appears as though he was rolled out of a casket to show up at these foreign countries. When the meetings are done back in the casket he goes but not before someone rewinds him, closes the lid, and then it's off to the next stop.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora