News / Asia

Protests Over Election Fraud Claims Gather Pace in Afghanistan

Demonstrators shout slogans in support of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 22, 2014.
Demonstrators shout slogans in support of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 22, 2014.
Reuters

Protests in support of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's decision to drop out of the electoral process gathered in several cities on Sunday, as tension over allegations of mass-fraud in the run-off vote grew.

Abdullah has so far ignored calls by the United Nations and the Afghan government to return to the electoral process, after withdrawing earlier this week by declaring any outcome was illegal and recalling his observers monitoring the vote count.

The second day of protests came despite appeals for calm by Afghan authorities and the United Nations, intensifying longstanding concerns of a struggle for power along ethnic lines and casting doubt on Afghanistan's attempt to transfer power democratically for the first time in its history.

The election comes as most foreign troops are planning to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year. The fragile state of the society they will leave behind was underscored on Saturday by a suicide bombing aimed at a government official.

Abdullah, of mixed Tajik and Pashtun heritage, is known for his leadership role in the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. The June 14 run-off vote pitted him against ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani, who belongs to the majority ethnic Pashtun group.

Abdullah is demanding an investigation into vote fraud and the dismissal of the head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Secretariat Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhil.

Several hundred of his supporters protested outside the presidential palace, while others gathered and disrupted traffic for a second day on the main road leading to the international airport.

In western Herat province, hundreds of Abdullah supporters gathered and chanted "death to IEC" and "fraudsters must be tried".

Angry protesters made their way to Herat governor's office and around 60 burnt their voting cards in protest.

"We are tired of fraud and we are against it," Abdul Rahman, a protester who burnt his voting ID in Herat, told Reuters.

"We had the right to cast one vote and when the Independent Election Commission does not respect our right then there is no need to have a voting card. We will not participate in elections any more."

In northern Kunduz province, armed men from Abdullah's campaign forcibly shut down the election office, Amir Amza Ahmadzai, head of IEC in Kunduz, told Reuters.

"We have already sent an official letter to the police but they haven't responded yet," he said.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid