Published: Tue, December 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Presidential elections can be held in Afghanistan again

Presidential elections can be held in Afghanistan again

Afghanistan's incumbent President Ashraf Ghani has apparently won a second five-year term based on preliminary results announced Sunday for the disputed September 28 presidential vote. Ghani's rival Abdullah Abdullah has rejected the result and announced to challenge it.

The Stability and Convergence election campaign team led by Afghan Chief Executive and presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has registered about 4,000 complaints about the preliminary vote count, and urged the country's Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) to assess the process fairly.

Recently, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani may have managed to save his chair in the preliminary results announced on Sunday, December 22, 2019, but his difficulties do not seem to be diminishing.

Ghani and his government have been sidelined during the past year of direct talks between the United States and the Taliban.

She did not specify when the final results will be given.

"The ECC has an obligation to adjudicate any complaints it receives transparently and thoroughly so the election process may conclude in a credible manner", UNAMA head Tadamichi Yamamoto said.

Ghani welcomed the IEC decision and said the country was on the right path towards prosperity but Abdullah dismissed the result as fraudulent as he called for a full review.

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Deen Mohammad Azimi, deputy head of the Electoral Complaints Commission, said there is a "strong possibility" the election would go to the second round.

However, the elections were marred by low voter turnout, logistical issues, and fraud allegations and attacks by the Taliban.

As soon as the result was announced, Abdullah's office said in a statement that he would dispute it.

The UN underscored the importance of an orderly, careful process leading up to the final results and reiterated that the election process is a joint responsibility, including by the electoral management bodies and candidates, as well as media and civil society.

In November, the election commission tried to launch a recount, but Abdullah halted the attempt, saying he would not let his observers participate.

President Ghani later in a televised address thanked the election commission, the Afghan nation, particularly national security forces, for helping to organize the polls under challenging circumstances.

The country's election commission said Ghani got 50.64 percent of the votes in the September 28 presidential poll.

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