TEHRAN (Iran News) – Afghanistan election commission said President Ashraf Ghani has won a second term and will stay in office, earning 50.64% of a preliminary vote count announced Sunday, but his opponents can still challenge the results. The Sept. 28 presidential poll results have been repeatedly delayed amid accusations of misconduct and technical problems […]
TEHRAN (Iran News) – Afghanistan election commission said President Ashraf Ghani has won a second term and will stay in office, earning 50.64% of a preliminary vote count announced Sunday, but his opponents can still challenge the results.
The Sept. 28 presidential poll results have been repeatedly delayed amid accusations of misconduct and technical problems with counting ballots.
Afghanistan President in office, Ashraf Ghani appears to have beaten out his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah, who serves as the country’s chief executive in a fragile national unity government, AP reported.
Candidates now have a few days to file any complaints before final results are announced, probably within weeks.
Abdullah’s office released a statement saying the results were “not legitimate.”
“We will never accept results based on the fraudulent vote without considering the legal demands of the candidates,” the statement said.
Afghanistan election commission tried to launch a ballot recount in November but Abdullah halted the attempt, saying he would not let his observers participate. He eventually allowed a recount to go forward earlier this month.
Thousands of Abdullah’s supporters had rallied in November against what they said was the presence of fake ballots. The controversial recount seemed set to favor Ghani.
Hawa Alam Nuristani, the head of the Independent Election Commission, announced the preliminary results at a press conference in Kabul.
She did not specify when the final results will be given. The preliminary vote count was originally set to be announced Oct. 17, and the final tally on Nov. 7.
There also will not be any decision on whether the second round of voting is needed until the final results are out, and Ghani’s lead of over 50% is secure. Afghanistan election laws say a runoff must take place if no candidate obtains over 50% of the votes.
The preliminary results found Ghani won 923,868 votes — 50.64% — while Abdullah won 720,990 votes, according to Nuristani.
She did not give a specific percentage for Abdullah during the press conference in the capital, Kabul, but he appeared to have received 39.52%.
Preliminary results were originally due October 19 but were repeatedly delayed amid technical issues and allegations of fraud from various candidates, particularly Abdullah.
Observers and candidates have blasted the IEC over its handling of the count and its repeated disregard of the electoral calendar.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan, said the electoral commission “has an obligation to adjudicate any complaints it receives transparently and thoroughly so the election process may conclude in a credible manner.”
“All candidates have the chance to raise any concerns they may have,” he said in a statement.
The 2014 presidential election was mired in accusations of widespread fraud. That led the US to cobble together a unity government between Ghani and Abdullah, the two leading contenders. Their partnership has been fraught with bickering and rifts.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews