News / Asia

Rival Afghan Candidates Already Claiming Victory

An Afghan election official empties a ballot box for counting at the end of polling in Herat Province, Apr. 5, 2014.
An Afghan election official empties a ballot box for counting at the end of polling in Herat Province, Apr. 5, 2014.
Sharon Behn
Afghanistan’s April 5 presidential ballot has been widely hailed as a triumph for the people.  With votes still being counted, hopes for a smooth end to the election are beginning to fade as candidates appear to maneuver for a political fight to the finish.

Technocrat Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official, told media he is certain he received a majority of the votes, given the turnout in areas where he gathered a lot of support.

His chief competitor, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, has said he is sure that 60 percent of the voters had cast their ballots for him.

To win the election, a candidate needs 50 percent plus one vote.  If no one reaches that threshold, there will be a run-off.

Omar Samad, an Afghan expert at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., says it is likely that the front-runners will fight to the finish.

“They have indicated they will go all the way because both of them are in favor of a stronger mandate by going to the end of the second round,”  he said.

Samad adds that the other six candidates could soon start negotiating throwing their support behind one of the two assumed leading candidates.

Results

Partial results could be announced as early as the end of this week. The final tally is not expected until mid-May.

Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, the head of the Independent Election Commission, called on the candidates to wait for the official announcement of the vote results.

He says his request to all the candidates and people of Afghanistan is to avoid predictions, or publishing numbers, so as to not confuse people.  Let the Independent Election Commission announce the results as scheduled, he says.

According to the National Democratic Institute, a full accounting of all ballots will be particularly important in this hotly-contested election, where the margin of victory is expected to be slim.

Jandad Spinghar, executive director of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), says so far the effective security efforts and higher-than-expected voter turnout has lent huge credibility to the election.

He says all the ballots must be counted and complaints of fraud or vote-rigging must be resolved before a final count can be released.

“Then we can say that we will have complete legitimate election and the result will be acceptable," said Spinghar. "If there will be second round, so we can expect that before second round there will be a kind of negotiation between two candidates.”  

Fraud

According to FEFA, its election monitors observed 2,600 cases of fraud and misconduct.

Afghanistan’s senior electoral officer, Ziaulhaq Amarkhail, has said every documented election complaint would be investigated.

He says Afghans are holding elections under conditions of war and insecurity.  But if there is any credible evidence showing that someone interfered with the documents in favor of or against any candidate, he says the Independent Election Commission wants to assure the nation that it takes all such complaints seriously and is ready to deal with such situations.

Analyst Samad says the election’s overall credibility will depend heavily on how the election and complaints commissions perform their jobs.

The Asian Networks for Free Elections Foundation warned in a statement Wednesday that candidates' “premature and unfounded declarations of victory can create an unrealistic expectation among supporters.”

You May Like

Video 2nd American Reportedly Killed in Syria

Local television report says Abdirahman Muhumed left the area to fight for Islamic State militants More

WHO Fears Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People

World Health Organization says outbreak 'continues to accelerate' but that most cases are concentrated in a few local areas More

Angelina Jolie Marries Brad Pitt

Actors wed in small private ceremony Saturday in France More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid