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Karzai Urges End to Afghan Election Stalemate

  • VOA News

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, center, calls for resolution in presidential election. He's flanked by candidates Ashraf Ghani, left, and Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul Aug. 19, 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai marked the 95th anniversary of Afghanistan's independence Tuesday with an appeal for an end to the nation's two-month presidential election dispute.

Standing alongside candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who have failed to agree on who won the election, Karzai said Afghanistan needs an inclusive government.

He said the nation is waiting "impatiently" for the final result.

Taliban fight continues

As the stalemate drags on, the country's fight against the Taliban continues.

The police chief of Logar province south of Kabul General Abdul Hakeem told VOA Tuesday that Afghan security forces had repelled a "large-scale Taliban offensive" in Azra District.

"Seven hundred Taliban armed with heavy and light weapons attacked us," said Abdul Hakeem. "We were informed about their offensive 24 hours in advance, so we had full preparations to counter them. In this operation, we had one soldier wounded, but the enemy’s casualties numbered 17 dead and six to seven wounded.”

Karzai hopes a new president can be sworn in by August 25, a goal some see as overly optimistic.

The eight million votes cast during the June 14 run-off between the two candidates are being audited in a deal mediated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Allegations of fraud in the vote have come from both sides.