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Karzai: UN Should Intervene in Afghan Vote Count

Afghan election workers prepare to start counting ballot papers after voting closed at a polling station in Mazar-I-Shariff, June 14, 2014.
Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai said on Friday that he wanted the United Nations to intervene in the presidential election process after one of the candidates dropped out of the process over allegations of mass fraud.

Millions of Afghans turned out on Saturday for a second-round run-off to elect a successor to Karzai, a decisive test of the country's ambitions to transfer power democratically for the first time in its tumultuous history.

But on Wednesday former opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah withdrew his monitors from the process and demanded the vote count be halted, potentially derailing what is seen as a make-or-break vote before most foreign troops leave. He also called for the U.N. to intervene to salvage the process.

"Pointing to Dr Abdullah's suggestion about UN role ... Karzai said that not only he agreed with this suggestion but he counts it a positive step for tackling this problem," a statement from Karzai's office said.

The United Nations said Abdullah's move was regrettable and that due process should continue. It was not immediately available to comment on Karzai's support for his suggestion.

The run-off pitted former anti-Taliban fighter and opposition leader Abdullah against ex-World Bank economist and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, after neither secured the 50 percent needed to win first round outright on April 5.