Afghan presidential candidate to allow ballot recount

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Abdullah Abdullah halted an attempt at a ballot recount in November

Dec 13, 2019

December 13, 2019

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Leading Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah announced on Friday he has agreed to allow a ballot recount in provinces where his supporters had stopped the process for almost a month.

Mr Abdullah, who serves as the country’s chief executive in a fragile national unity government with President Ashraf Ghani, addressed the media following a conference with supporters. He said he won’t accept any election result until all fake ballots are removed.

The Afghan Election Commission tried to launch a ballot recount in November but Mr Abdullah halted the attempt, saying he wouldn’t let his observers participate.

Afghanistan’s election and election complaint commissions had repeatedly requested that Mr Abdullah’s supporters allow the ballot recount process to move forward and promised to release results based on valid ballots.

The September 28 election has been mired in controversy. Mr Abdullah and his rival, President Ghani, are the top candidates.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Mr Abdullah would send any of his observers to take part in the recount process.

A date to announce preliminary election results was still not clear on Friday but if no candidate obtains more than 50 per cent of the vote, a second round of voting will be held.

Mr Ghani and Mr Abdullah head a fragile national unity government that was put together under US pressure after both leaders claimed victory in Afghanistan’s last elections in 2014.

Updated: December 13, 2019 11:49 PM

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