News / Asia

US: Afghan Election Loser Will Play Role in Government

Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah shake hands during a joint press conference in Kabul on July 12, 2014.
Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah shake hands during a joint press conference in Kabul on July 12, 2014.
VOA News

The United States says whatever outcome of Afghanistan's election audit, the candidate who does not have the most votes will play a formal role in the new government.

A senior U.S. administration official would not confirm the structure of a national unity government, but told reporters Monday that no constituency would be cut out of the governing process.

In a deal mediated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday, rival Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani agreed to a full U.N.-supervised audit of the entire runoff poll and committed to abide by the final results.  

The U.S. official said candidates also agreed to a framework that would move Afghanistan "away from the brink of turmoil" towards lasting unity and stability. The New York Times reported the framework included the future creation of a parliamentary democracy with a prime minister as head of government and a president as head of state.

In an interview with VOA Afghan Service Monday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he begrudgingly accepted the election deal brokered by Kerry. Karzai told VOA in Kabul that he vehemently opposed a constitutional amendment to change Afghanistan's government system to parliamentary.

The American official would not confirm The New York Times report and said Afghans must define the framework for themselves and institute constitutional reforms over the next few years to ensure everyone was represented fairly.

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 one million votes.
 
Abdullah rejected the outcome, accusing President 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.

On Monday, the senior U.S. administration official said both candidates recognized the importance of restoring legitimacy to the electoral process. He said Abdullah and Ghani were committed to working through the process for the sake of the Afghan people.

Following hours of talks with the candidates, Kerry said "every single ballot" cast in Afghanistan would be audited in Kabul beginning Sunday.  ISAF security forces will safely transport the ballots from across the country for international monitors proposed by the United Nations to audit them.

Kerry said the process would take a number of weeks.  He also said outgoing President Karzai has agreed to postpone the presidential inauguration date of August 2 to accommodate the audit.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs