Afghan president, UN envoy discuss election audit

Kabul, Aug 7 (IANS): Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday met the UN special envoy to the country and discussed the process of election audit, according to a statement issued by the Presidential Palace.

"President Hamid Karzai met this morning with the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Jan Kubis to discuss the process of vote audit currently under way,” Xinhua quoted the statement as saying. 

“The president stressed that the Afghan people, who went in millions to exercise their right to vote, have been waiting for months for the results and want to see their country have a new president and a new government to move things forward as normal," it added. 

The Afghan presidential runoff was held June 14 between the two leading presidential hopefuls. 

Preliminary results showed that Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was ahead. However, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah refused to accept the outcome and accused the election commission of committing fraud and demanded a vote recount.

US Secretary of State John Kerry brokered an agreement between the two candidates July 12, breaking the deadlock and paving the way for the formation of a national unity government in the country. 

Abdullah and Ghani agreed to a 100 percent audit of more than eight million ballots.

The audit began July 17, but was suspended five times due to differences between candidates' observers.

The Afghan leader also told Kubis that "the current situation has negatively affected the country's security, stability and economy, and the election result must, therefore, be announced within the timeline as previously agreed (current month of August) so that the new president can take office".

Under the agreement between Abdullah and Ghani, the candidate who secures the majority of the votes in the audit process would become the country's president, and his opponent would serve as chief executive, which is tantamount to the position of a prime minister. 


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