Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Elections http://www.khaama.com The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Thu, 27 Nov 2014 18:07:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Afghan candidates close to signing of unity government deal: Faizi http://www.khaama.com/afghan-candidates-close-to-signing-of-unity-government-deal-faizi-6695 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-candidates-close-to-signing-of-unity-government-deal-faizi-6695#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:12:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39244 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah and GhaniThe Afghan presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have said they are expecting to sign an agreement on unity government soon.

The issue was shared during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in ARG presidential palace on Monday.

Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani have said they are hopeful that the agreement will be signed in the near future and in the presence of President Karzai and other high level political figures, Aimal Faizi spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said.

In the meantime, the presidential palace media office following a statement said the two candidates met with President Karzai to brief the president regarding development in their talks on unity government.

President Karzai also urged the two candidates to accelerate their efforts to conclude the agreement as soon as possible, the statement said.

The statement also added that President Karzai has pledged full support to conclude talks on unity government.

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UN warns of aid cut following threats by Abdullah supporters http://www.khaama.com/un-warns-of-aid-cut-following-threats-by-abdullah-supporters-6688 http://www.khaama.com/un-warns-of-aid-cut-following-threats-by-abdullah-supporters-6688#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:26:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39156 Read the full article...]]> UN warns to cut aidThe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has warned to severely limit its activities in Afghanistan a day after a group of protesters issued threats and verbal attacks against the mission in Kabul.

The mission following an online statement issued through its Twitter account said “Grave concerns related to direct threats and verbal attacks against the #UN expressed yesterday in Kabul.”

“If such abuse continues, UN will be forced to severely limit its activities, reducing its assistance to #Afghanistan and its people,” the statement added.

UNAMA said threats against UN is equal to threats against entire international community, insisting that intimidationand verbal attacks directed at UN are uncceptable.

Dozens of supporters of Dr. Abdullah took to the streets in capital Kabul on Friday and accused the United States, United Kingdom and UN mission in Afghanistan for being involved in massive fraud in presidential election.

The UN mission was also accused of aiding vote-rigging by supporterrs of Dr. Abdullah who who had gathred outside the Kabul headquarters of the world body.

UNAMA has been monitoring a vote-rigging investigation since both candidates – Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai – each claimed victory and accused the other of fraud in early July.

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Afghan candidates close to reach an agreement on unity government http://www.khaama.com/afghan-candidates-close-to-reach-an-agreement-on-unity-government-6686 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-candidates-close-to-reach-an-agreement-on-unity-government-6686#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:07:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39150 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah and GhaniThe Afghan candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai are close to reach an agreement to resolve the election impasse and form a unity government.

The issue was shared by President Hamid Karzai during a meeting with the Ulema Council members in Kabl on Saturday.

President Karzai told the members of Ulema Council that he met with the two candidates who are keen to cooperate and reach an agreement on electoral issues.

Karzai said both Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have almost reached to an agreement and he expects that the deal will be finalized in coming one or two days.

The electoral teams of Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani confirmed that President Hamid Karzai had separate meetings with the two candidates. However, no further details were given regarding the meetings.

Syed Fazel Sancharaki, a spokesman for Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s camp said President Karzai has urged the two candidates to reach a political agreement before the final vote results are announced.

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IEC invalidates ballots of 95 polling stations http://www.khaama.com/iec-invalidates-ballots-of-95-polling-stations-6684 http://www.khaama.com/iec-invalidates-ballots-of-95-polling-stations-6684#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:43:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39119 Read the full article...]]> Afghan votes audit delayedThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) said Friday that ballots of 95 polling station were invalidated during the 8th phase of decision making process.

A statement released by IEC said decisions were taken regarding the status of ballots cast at 4,263 polling stations on Friday.

The statement further added that ballots of 1,459 polling stations were validated while ballots of 2,304 polling stations were partially invalidated in the presence of national and international observers, United Nations advisors and media.

Commissioners also confirmed the need for closer investigation of 405 polling stations, the statement added.

“IEC Commissioners make their decisions after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms. Audit checklist forms, completed by Audit Teams during the audit process, indicate whether the contents of ballot boxes are valid, invalid or partially invalid, according to IEC Decision 33 and 37‐1393,” the statement said.

The statement also added, “When they feel it is necessary, Commissioners may also examine individual audit checklist forms (electronic copy or original) for further clarification; or request advice from the United Nations.”

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Ata Mohammad Noor says election results unacceptable http://www.khaama.com/ata-mohammad-noor-says-election-results-unacceptable-6669 http://www.khaama.com/ata-mohammad-noor-says-election-results-unacceptable-6669#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:42:45 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39083 Read the full article...]]> ata mohammad noorAta Mohammad Noor, the governor of northern Balkh province of Afghanistan and a close ally of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said Thursday that the election results are unacceptable.

Noor also warned that widespread anti-fraud movements will be organized to protest against the massive fraud in presidential election.

He said his supporters will take part in green and orange movements, which apparently refers to civil movements and violent protests if their demands were not met.

Noor accused the presidential palace, Dr. Ashraf Ghani’s team and the Independent Election Commission for being involved in electoral fraud.

This comes as Dr. Abdullah earlier this week said that his team will not accept the election results claiming that the vote audit and invalidation process was not fairly conducted.

Abdullah said the political process of the presidential election had entered a deadlock.

The remarks by Dr. Abdullah was followed after negotiations between the two candidates over nationa unity government failed on Monday.

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Ulema council calls on Afghan candidates to end election deadlock http://www.khaama.com/ulema-council-calls-on-afghan-candidates-to-end-election-deadlock-8627 http://www.khaama.com/ulema-council-calls-on-afghan-candidates-to-end-election-deadlock-8627#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:31:05 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39073 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah and GhaniThe Ulema Council of Afghanistan has called on presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to end the deadlock over Afghanistan’s presidential election.

Head of the Ulema Council of Afghanistan, Qeyamuddin Kashaf has said the only solution to the current situation was a speedy agreement on the formation of a national unity government in order to prevent a crisis and in the best interests of the Afghan people.

The issue was shared during a meeting beteween the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for AFghanistan Jan Kubis and Mr. Kashaf, the UN mission in Afghanistan said.

The Special Representative met the Ulema Council members, including its head, Qeyamuddin Kashaf, on Tuesday, to consult with them and seek their advice on the current situation between the two presidential candidates as part of his ongoing engagement with diverse stakeholders in support of the electoral process.

“The Ulema Council informed me of their position on the current stalemate between the candidates in relation to the formation of a government of national unity – and it is a position I wholeheartedly agree with,” said Mr. Kubiš, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

“The UN supports the formation of a government of national unity led by the winner of the election – as the candidates committed to on 12 July and reiterated on 8 August,” he added. “At this critical juncture genuine partnership is necessary to meeting the country’s many challenges, and strengthening its stability and unity.”

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Ghani warns against attempts to balkanize Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/ghani-warns-against-attempts-to-balkanize-afghanistan-6667 http://www.khaama.com/ghani-warns-against-attempts-to-balkanize-afghanistan-6667#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:06:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39048 Read the full article...]]> Dr. GhaniPresidential contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has warned against attempts to balkanize Afghanistan, saying that Afghanistan will remain strong and unified and that no one can balkanize Afghanistan.

Dr. Ghani was speaking during a press a conference two days after his rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah accused his team for being involved in massive fraud during the election process.

Dr. Abdullah said Monday that his team will not accept the final vote results if bogus votes which he claims is more than one million, have not been separated.

Hoever, Dr. Ghani said his team will continue to talks and dialogues with the opponent team. However, he insisted that he will not agree to anything thatis against the constitution of Afghanistan.

“We will not look away from the constitution to make deals. All our talks about national unity government will be based on constitution/laws of the country,” Dr. Ghani said.

Dr. Ghani said the audit process of the election has been completed and called on electoral bodies to release the final vote results as soon as possible as it is the legitimate right of the people to see the fruit of their sacrifices.

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IEC expects to release final vote results next week http://www.khaama.com/iec-expects-to-release-final-vote-results-next-week-8623 http://www.khaama.com/iec-expects-to-release-final-vote-results-next-week-8623#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:54:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=39035 Read the full article...]]> Afghan audit concludesThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) officials have said they are expecting to release the final vote results for the runoff presidential election next week.

The officials further added that the technical process of the vote audit and recount process will be completed by the end of this week.

In the meantime, IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor called on presidential contenders to reach an agreement regarding the unity government before the final vote results are released.

Noor further added that the people of Afghanistan who have voted are waiting for the release of the vote results.

He urged the candidates to fulfill their commitments they reached during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Kabul last month.

This comes as presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said Monday that his team will not accept the election results, insisting that the political process of the presidential election has entered a deadlock.

Abdullah further added that the vote audit and recount process as well as the invalidation process was not fairly conducted as over 1 million bogus votes were not separated from the clean votes.

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UN chief urges Afghan candidates to conclude unity government deal http://www.khaama.com/un-chief-urges-afghan-candidates-to-conclude-unity-government-deal-6659 http://www.khaama.com/un-chief-urges-afghan-candidates-to-conclude-unity-government-deal-6659#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:39:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38981 Read the full article...]]> 163659802The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Afghan presidential candidates to accept the comprehensive vote audit result and conclude a deal on national unity government formation in accordance with commitments they rreachedon 12th July.

“The Secretary-General emphasises that this is a pivotal moment for Afghanistan, and that genuine partnership will be required in tackling Afghanistan’s many challenges. Both parties share a real responsibility to guide Afghanistan to a peaceful and more prosperous future. Given the scale of the challenges, this can only be done jointly,” the UN Secretary General’s spokesman said following a statement.

The statement further added, “TheSecretary-General notes that in the 12 July agreement, reached with the support of US Secretary of State John Kerry, and their signed communique of 8 August, the two candidates agreed to accept the result of a comprehensive nationwide audit of the presidential election run-off results and form a government of national unity.”

“With the main audit completed on 4 September and the announcement of updated results anticipated shortly, the Secretary-General expects that the candidates will now abide by their commitments to enable Afghanistan’s first ever peaceful transfer of power,” the statement added.

This comes as presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said Monday that his team will not accept the vote results, accusing the electoral bodies for being involved in massive fraud in favour of his rival Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

Dr. Abdullah said the vote audit and invalidation process was not fairly conducted as over 1 million bogus votes which his team was expecting to be invalidated, remained intact.

The vote audit process concluded last week and Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials have said they are expecting to conclude the technical process of the audit by Wednesday which will enable them to release the final vote results.

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Afghanistan in urgent need of a new government, Karzai insists http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-in-urgent-need-of-a-new-government-karzai-insists-6656 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-in-urgent-need-of-a-new-government-karzai-insists-6656#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:39:12 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38973 Read the full article...]]> KarzaiAfghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that Afghanistan is in urgent need of a new government and called on both presidential candidates to immediately reach an agreement on a political settlement.

Speaking during the 13th death anniversary of former Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, President Karzai said the two candidates can resolve the deadlock by reaching a political agreement.

Karzai said the term of the current government has already expired and Afghanistan needs a new government which can be formed by presidential contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

He called on gathering participants to urge the two candidates to reach an agreement and rescue the country from the current situation and political deadlock.

The presidential election was once again taken towards a deadlock after Dr. Abdullah Abdullah announced his team’s stance regarding the electoral process and said his team will not accept the outcome of election.

Dr. Abdullah said the audit and recount process as well as vote invalidation process was not conducted fairly and warned that he will not accept a fraudulent government even for one day.

However, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials have said they will release the final vote results once the audit and recount process concludes.

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Final vote results to be released with conclusion of audit on Wednesday http://www.khaama.com/final-vote-results-to-be-released-with-conclusion-of-audit-on-wednesday-6654 http://www.khaama.com/final-vote-results-to-be-released-with-conclusion-of-audit-on-wednesday-6654#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:10:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38969 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah and GhaniThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials have said the election results will be released with the completion of technical process of vote audit and recount process.

IEC chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani has said the final election results will be released once they receive the result of technical aspect of the audit and recount process.

Nuristani further added they expect to receive the technical process result on Wednesday which will enable them to release the final vote results.

This comes as presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said Monday that the political process of presidential election has entered a deadlock and insisted that his team will not accept the election results.

Abdullah accused the electoral bodies for being involved in massive fraud during the election process as well as vote audit and recount process.

He said his team’s concerns and complaints were not considered during the audit process.

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Abdullah says his team will not accept the election result http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-says-his-team-will-not-accept-the-election-result-8613 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-says-his-team-will-not-accept-the-election-result-8613#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:15:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38943 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah AbdullahAfghanistan’s controversial presidential election was once again taken towards a deadlock after the Reform and Partnership term led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah announced their stance regarding the election process.

The announcement by Dr. Abdullah comes as last round of talks between the two candidates over national unity government formation did not yield any result.

Abdullah said the political process has now entered to a deadlock and claimed that his team was the winner and will be the winner of the presidential election, accusing the electoral bodies for being involved in industrial scale fraud.

Abdullah criticized the vote audit and invalidation process and said the process had problems since the beginning and his team’s complaints and concerns were not considered by concerned parties involved in the process.

He claimed that his rival team had the support of government and the electoral bodies during the election and vote audit process.

Abdullah also added that his team was against violence and insisted that his team will pursue their rights in lights of their constitutional rights.

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Afghan election on brink of collapse as Abdullah-Ghani talks fail http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-on-brink-of-collapse-as-abdullah-ghani-talks-fail-8609 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-on-brink-of-collapse-as-abdullah-ghani-talks-fail-8609#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:32:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38929 Read the full article...]]> abdullah-ghani-reu-1200According to reports, negotiations between presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai ended with no result on national unity government formation.

An official in Dr. Abdullah’s camp has said they will announce their final stance regarding the election process today.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral camp warned Sunday that declaration of a parallel government is an option if talks between the two candidates fail.

Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani agreed to form a unity government and abide by the outcome of comprehensive vote audit during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Kabul in July.

The US President Barack Obama also called on Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani to complete a power-sharing deal as soon as possible so the country can form a new government.

Obama called the two contenders on Saturday to emphasize on the importance of concluding a deal on the national unity government as soon as possible in the interest of shoring up international support for Afghanistan and preserving Afghan stability.

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Obama calls on Afghan candidates to complete power-sharing deal soon http://www.khaama.com/obama-calls-on-afghan-candidates-to-complete-power-sharing-deal-soon-6649 http://www.khaama.com/obama-calls-on-afghan-candidates-to-complete-power-sharing-deal-soon-6649#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 03:50:02 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38912 Read the full article...]]> Obama calls Afghan candidatesThe US President Barack Obama has told presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to complete a power-sharing deal as soon as possible so the country can form a new government.

“The President spoke with Afghan presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani on Saturday,” the White House said following a statement on Sunday.

The statement further added that president Obama emphasized on the importance of concluding a deal on the national unity government as soon as possible in the interest of shoring up international support for Afghanistan and preserving Afghan stability.

Obama reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to support Afghanistan, the Afghan people, and the president and chief executive, should the agreement be formalized, in their efforts to form a new unity government, the statemetn added.

This comes as the two presidential contenders have not reached to an agreement to form a unity government despite the comprehensive audit process was completed last week and the election commission is getting closer to announce the final results.

Dr. Abdullah’s camp has warned that they will announce their final stance if negotiations between the two candidates over unity government fails.

The two contenders are expecting to meet today to hold talks on concluding the election process and reach an agreement on formation of unity government which was agreed during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Afghanistan in the month of July.

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Afghanistan election process to conclude in coming days, Kubis says http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-election-process-to-conclude-in-coming-days-kubis-says-6646 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-election-process-to-conclude-in-coming-days-kubis-says-6646#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 17:38:57 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38902 Read the full article...]]> downloadThe UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Jan Kubis has said that some technical aspects of the electoral process have been left which will be concluded in coming days.

The issue was shared during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai which was also attended by US ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham.

“President Hamid Karzai met this afternoon with the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Jan Kubis and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham,” the presidential palace said following a statement.

The statement further added, “The meeting was held at the Presidential Palace, where both the UN Special Envoy and the US Ambassador updated President Karzai on the recent developments in the electoral process.”

Mr. Kubis said that some technical aspects of the process were yet to be completed within the coming days, adding that following its completion, the electoral process would conclude eventually, the statement added.

This comes as the Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials have said they are close to announce the final vote results as the audit process was fully completed on Thursday evening.

However, Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, a former presidential contender warned Saturday that disclosure of final results in the absence of an agreement would take the country towards an unresolveable crisis and instability.

The presidential contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have not reached to an agreement regarding the formation of a national unity government and authorities of the chief executive so far.

In the meantime, Dr. Abdullah’s camp said Sunday that they will announce their final stance regarding the election if Monday’s talks between the two candidates fail to form a unity government.

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Parallel government an option if unity government talks fail http://www.khaama.com/parallel-government-an-option-if-unity-government-talks-fail-6643 http://www.khaama.com/parallel-government-an-option-if-unity-government-talks-fail-6643#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 16:26:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38893 Read the full article...]]> parallel governmentDr. Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral camp has warned that declaration of a parallel government is an option if talks between the two candidates fail.

The two candidates are expected to meet again on Monday in a bid to hold talks on an agreement regarding the unity government.

Mujib-ur-Rehman, one of Abdullah’s spokesman has said their camp will announce their final stance if negotiations between the two candidates fail on Monday.

Rehman said declaration of a parallel government is one of the options which might be discussed along with the other options by the leadership of Reform and Partnership team.

Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani agreed to form a unity government and abide by the outcome of comprehensive vote audit during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Kabul in July.

According to reports, the two candidates have yet to reach an agreement regarding the authorities of chief executive.

In the meantime, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s electoral team has said declaration of a parallel government will not resolve the current situation of the country and called on Abdullah’s team to maintain calm and raise their demands through negotiations.

Officials in Dr. Ghani’s camp have said they are hopeful that Monday’s negotiations between the two candidates would yield a positive results.

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Sayyaf warns over early release of presidential vote results http://www.khaama.com/sayyaf-warns-over-early-release-of-presidential-vote-results-8591 http://www.khaama.com/sayyaf-warns-over-early-release-of-presidential-vote-results-8591#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 10:25:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38853 Read the full article...]]> rasul_sayyafAbdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf has warned that the early release of presidential vote results will spark widespread unrest and take the country towards an unresolvable crisis.

Sayyaf was competing in the first round of presidential election and his announced his support to Dr. Abdullah in runoff election.

He urged the Independent Election Commission not release the runoff vote results in the absence of a political settlement between Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani’s electoral camps.

Sayyaf warned that early release of vote results will further deepen the political crisis in the country and will have a negative impact over the security situation of the country.

He said the creation of divisions and suggestion of a parallel government will not help the country to move forward and urged all parties involved in electoral process to reach a final agreement considering the stability of the country and safety of people.

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Fraud allegations a pretext to kidnap election institutions: Naderi http://www.khaama.com/fraud-allegations-a-pretext-to-kidnap-election-institutions-naderi-6634 http://www.khaama.com/fraud-allegations-a-pretext-to-kidnap-election-institutions-naderi-6634#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 09:15:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38744 Read the full article...]]> Farkhunda Zahra NaderiThe controversial presidential election put Afghanistan on the brink of a civil war as the country is going through a sensitive period of political and security transition.

Massive fraud allegations specifically in the runoff presidential election and suggestion of a parallel government further deepened the political crisis in Afghanistan with the conservative political leaders preferring the use of blood color instead of finger color for a peaceful and democratic political transition.

Afghan politician and Member of Parliament, Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, strongly criticized the pretext of fraud allegations as a tool to take the electoral institutions hostage.

Speaking during a NATO side event conference in London hosted by Royal United Service Institute (RUSI), Miss Naderi said the commitment and sacrifices of the Afghan people were compromised despite they defied the threats and went in millions to vote for change.

Other speakers at this conference were high level officials including the British Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon, British Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Sir Nichaolas Houghton, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Romanian foreign minister Titus Corlatean, Rory Stewart OBE MP, Chair, House of Commons Defence Select Committee and officials from United Kingdom’s House of Common and House of Law.

“Before the election taking place, we were campaigning and lobbying in different parts to say that we need in 2014 the election of Afghanistan. We came to the point that people inside and I am sure that people outside the country thought that there is not going to be an election because the politicians wanted to divide the power among themselves by always going to the international community to show the sensitivity part of security and saying this is impossible to have election because it is so threatening to the whole nation,” Miss Naderi said.

According to Miss Naderi, 2014 for Afghan nation was the end of world, it was painted that dark for everyone but darkness took people to the point that they had to decide between living and dying.

She said “When you go through three decades of war then you are able and you do have the capability to take the tough decision. So, on election day Afghan nation regardless of all those threat they lined in a way that not only surprised the nation but also surprised the whole world that in that line the people with cost of their lives went to vote.”

But, she said that beautiful gesture of the Afghan nation was unfortunately forgotten soon by our politician.

“It came to the point that who is going to be the winner and who is going to be the loser and that was the time when everything was painted again with a different image and that is fraud,” Miss Naderi added.

“Why fraud was dominating everything in Afghanistan? In a country that transfer of power was always done by the color of blood not by the color of finger and all of a sudden everyone gets perfectionist to the level that they will not accept anything if there is going to be irregularity,” she said.

Miss Naderi insisted that when we talk about the fraud in a country like Afghanistan, the leaders of the nation has the responsibility to go and fight ageist the fraud and make the institution strong in order that it can be a good filter of power not only for these two candidates but for the future of Afghanistan because “when we talk about institution and democracy we are not talking particularly about one particular period of election or government, we are talking about future of the country.”

“So, the independent election commission of Afghanistan is not determining the future of the two candidates winning or losing situation but the whole future of Afghanistan. So, when there was fraud we had to fight to ensure that the fraud is going to go through audit but instead of doing that what happened they kidnapped the institutions because the number of votes difference was so high that you could not by changing one thousand or let’s say one hundred thousand you could change the winner to the loser or lose to the winner,” she said.

According to Miss Naderi, the principles of democracy were used or misused to go and fight against the institution to kill election forever. “Fraud should not be an excuse to destroy an institution forever. Fraud should show the level of responsibility that how much work should be done in order to show that we can have an healthy democracy in Afghanistan,” she said.

Miss Naderi hailed the international community’s interference, specifically US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts for building a framework to resolve the deadlock. However, she insisted that the Afghan leaders were supposed to have the capability to resolve the issue and work for the betterment of the country.

She said the hundred audit process was agreed in a bid to prevent any further suspicion in the audit and recount process and ensure legitimacy of the election. However, she said that the international community should distinguish between the political process and technical process of the audit.

Miss Naderi affirmed that the technical side of the audit should be conducted by the international community but only Afghans should be involved in the political process since the leaders of Afghanistan should learn to take responsibility of the nation.

According to Miss Naderi, the democratic and election process would come under question if the political process is used as a pretext to gain power. “The leaders of Afghanistan should learn to take the responsibility of the nation rather than making the political process as a condition that if what I am trying to get, what I am demanding to get as a power is given to me then I am allowing the audit to move forward but if you are not going to give me what I am demanding then I am not allowing the audit to take place.”

“So, if the powerful people of the land wanted to sit in closed door and share Afghanistan among themselves, why people went to vote?” she asked.

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Afghan election rivals renews pledge to sign Afghan-US security deal http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-rivals-renews-pledge-to-sign-afghan-us-security-deal-6633 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-rivals-renews-pledge-to-sign-afghan-us-security-deal-6633#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 05:24:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38720 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan electionsAfghan presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have vowed to end the crisis over disputed election and sign the bilateral security agreement with Washington and status of forces agreement with NATO.

Abdullah and Ghani made the commitment in a joint statement which was sent to NATO summit in Wales.

“We believe in an inclusive political vision, we will form a government of national unity that will honor the epic participation of our people in the electoral process.

This government of national unity will have both the political will and the capacity to design and implement sustainable reforms to transform the lives of our people and turn Afghanistan into a center of stability and prosperity,” the statement said.

The two contenders also said, “We are fully committed to signing the BSA and SOFA agreements to honour the decision of the representatives of the people of Afghanistan in order to continue this partnership with our allies.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, “I can confirm that we received a message from the two presidential candidates indicating that they will do all they can to reach a political agreement and if that materialises we would warmly welcome it.”

Rasmussen further added Afghanistan deserves a rapid completion of the electoral process with an outcome that can be accepted by the Afghan people.

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Results from 72 polling station invalidated by election commission http://www.khaama.com/results-from-72-polling-station-invalidated-by-election-commission-6630 http://www.khaama.com/results-from-72-polling-station-invalidated-by-election-commission-6630#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 16:08:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38710 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan invalidation processThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Thursday that results from 72 polling stations were invalidated during the 6th session of invalidation process.

IEC following a statement said the election commission took decisions on the status of ballots cast 2,000 polling stations across the country.

“Today at the National Tally Center, in the presence of national and international observers, United Nations advisors and media, Commissioners reviewed evidence collected during the audit process. This includes evidence gathered in the course of 1,100 standard audits, as well as evidence gathered during scrutiny of 900 special cases,” the statement said.

According to IEC, results from 562 polling stations which included standard audit cases were validated, while results from 1,133 polling stations which includes 344 standard audit cases and 789 special scrutiny cases, were partially invalidated.

Commissioners also confirmed the need for closer investigation of 233 polling stations (of which 146 were standard audit cases and 87 were cases of special scrutiny).

IEC said the election commissioners make their decisions after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms.

“Audit checklist forms, completed by Audit Teams during the audit process, indicate whether the contents of ballot boxes are valid, invalid or partially invalid, according to IEC Decision 33‐1393. When they feel it is necessary, commissioners may also examine individual audit checklist forms (electronic copy or original) for further clarification; or request advice from the United Nations,” the statement added.

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Afghan election audit will be completed by today http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-audit-will-be-completed-by-today-6628 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-audit-will-be-completed-by-today-6628#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 08:57:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38703 Read the full article...]]> Afghan audit concludesThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials said Thursday that the election audit process will be completed by Thursday.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, told reporters the audit teams have managed to audit 96.9 percent of the ballot papers so far.

Noor further added only 705 ballot boxes have been left for the audit which will hopefully completed by today.

He said the commission will also take decision regarding the ballots of 2,000 ballot boxes during the invalidation process on Thursday evening.

The exact date regarding the release of final vote results has not been confirmed so far. However, IEC officials are saying that the final results will be released within the next few days.

The audit process was expected to conclude on 2nd September but the process was hampered on numerous occasions due to disputes.

The electoral process was once again put in the brink of collapse after Dr. Abdullah’s camp warned to fully withdraw from election audit and invalidation process and talks on unity government if their conditions were not met.

Dr. Abdullah’s camp claimed that the audit process was not fairly conducted and pulled all it’s observers from the audit process which forced his rival team to pull out observers based on United Nations request.

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Hezb-e-Islami seeks to secure active role in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/hezb-e-islami-seeks-to-secure-active-role-in-afghanistan-8583 http://www.khaama.com/hezb-e-islami-seeks-to-secure-active-role-in-afghanistan-8583#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 07:12:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38700 Read the full article...]]> Hekmatyar send out curse to democracy in AfghanistanHezb-e-Islami (HIA) led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is seeking to secure an active role in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan.

According to reports, Hekmatyar’s sons have recently visited Kabul and met with the presidential contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai regarding the party’s future possible role in the country.

The visit by Hekmatyar’s sons, Jamaluddin and Habib-ur-Rehman comes as the election contenders are engaged in talks regarding the formation of a national unity government.

A senior Hezb-e-Islami (HIA) leader has confirmed that Jalamuddin and Habib-ur-Rehman have met with Dr. Ghani and other key leaders during their visit to Kabul.

The HIA leader further added that Hekmatyar sent his sons to ‘personally’ assure Ghani of the group’s support.

“We traveled to Kabul, met Dr Ghani and discussed certain matters, including the peace process,” Hekmatyar’s son Jamaluddin told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

According to reports, Hezb-e-Islami leaders have held several talks with Ghani in recent months and both sides have formed committees to discuss future cooperation.

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Karzai meets presidential candidates amid persistent election deadlock http://www.khaama.com/karzai-meets-presidential-candidates-amid-persistent-election-deadlock-6624 http://www.khaama.com/karzai-meets-presidential-candidates-amid-persistent-election-deadlock-6624#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:27:45 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38675 Read the full article...]]> Karzai presidential candidatesAfghan President Hamid Karzai met with the presidential contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Wednesday to discuss the controversial election process.

President Karzai said he supports any agreement between the two contenders that would end the election deadlock.

“President Karzai supported the efforts and talks by both the Presidential candidates for successfully ending the elections and hoped that their ongoing efforts and talks to this end would produce results very soon,” the presidential palace media office said following a statement.

The statement further added, “The President urged the two candidates to reach a final agreement regarding the elections at the soonest so that the Afghan nation would wait no longer in uncertainty for the new President.”

This comes as the two candidates have not reached to an agreement regarding the formation of national unity government which was agreed during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit.

According to reports, the electoral teams of the to candidates are currently engaged in talks regarding a new proposal by Dr. Abdullah’s camp for equal split of power.

Dr. Abdullah’s electoral team on Monday warned to full boycott the electoral process and talks over unity government if their conditions and demands were not met.

A deadline was also set by Dr. Abdullah’s team regarding the acceptance of their conditions. However, the deadline was extended on Tuesday with Dr. Abdullah’s spokesman Syed Fazel Sancharaki saying that the extension was agreed in a bid to give another chance to diplomacy.

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No deal acceptable against the will of people, Massoud says http://www.khaama.com/no-deal-acceptable-against-the-well-of-people-massoud-says-8577 http://www.khaama.com/no-deal-acceptable-against-the-well-of-people-massoud-says-8577#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:20:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38664 Read the full article...]]> Ahmad Zia MassoudAhmad Zia Massoud, a senior member of transformation and continuity team led by Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, said Wednesday that he opposes with any political deal or interaction which are against the well of the people.

Massoud insisted that election process and acceptance of the vote results is the only logical option for the transfer of power.

He urged the Reform and Partnership team led by Dr. Abdullah not to take any step that would lead the country towards instability and crisis.

Referring to Ata Mohammad Noor’s call for widespread movements, Massoud said the people of Afghanistan will resist against any violence and the so called orange and green movements.

Massoud had also opposed with the formation of the coalition government which was agreed between the two contenders following US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Afghanistan.

The latest remarks by Massoud comes as Dr. Abdullah’s electoral team warned to fully boycott the election process and withdraw from talks on unity government formation if their conditions were not met.

Massoud was contesting in the first round of presidential election as the first vice president of Zalmai Rassoul who joined Abdullah Abdullah’s team in the runoff election.

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IEC: 90 percent of the Afghan election ballots audited http://www.khaama.com/iec-90-percent-of-the-afghan-election-ballots-audited-8569 http://www.khaama.com/iec-90-percent-of-the-afghan-election-ballots-audited-8569#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:46:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38619 Read the full article...]]> noor-mohammad-iecThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Tuesday that around 90 percent of votes from the runoff election have been audited.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, told reporters that the audit teams have managed to audit 20,501 ballot boxes out of 22,828 boxes so far.

Noor further added only 2,327 ballot boxes have been left for the audit which will be completed in the next few days.

He said the commission has so far taken decision regarding 57 percent of ballots from across the country.

According to Noor, the final election results will be announced soon and only few days have been left to complete the audit and invalidation process.

This comes as Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s camp warned on Monday that they will completely withdraw from audit process and talks on national unity government formation if their demands were not met on Tuesday.

The electoral team of Dr. Abdullah pulled out all its observers from the audit process last week, claiming that the audit and invalidation process was not conducted fairly.

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86.2 percent of the Afghan election ballots audited, says IEC http://www.khaama.com/86-2-percent-of-the-afghan-election-ballots-audited-says-iec-8553 http://www.khaama.com/86-2-percent-of-the-afghan-election-ballots-audited-says-iec-8553#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:25:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38555 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan election auditThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Monday that 86.2 percent of votes from the runoff election have been audited since the beginning of the audit and recount process.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, told reporters that the audit teams have managed to audit 19,751 ballot boxes out of 22,828 boxes so far.

Noor further added that the commission is expecting to take decision regarding ballots of 5,000 which have been audited, as part of the validation and invalidation process.

He said the election commission will conduct audit on 3,077 ballot boxes in the presence of international and United Nations observers.

According to Noor, the election commissioners will once again take decision regarding the validation and invalidation of ballot boxes which have been audited on Tuesday.

The Independent Election Commission on Sunday took decision regarding the status of ballots cast at 5,000 polling stations from across the country where ballots from 236 polling stations were invalidated.

The election commissioners also validated ballots from 1,837 polling stations, while ballots from 2,165 polling stations were partially invalidated.

Ballots boxes invalidated on Sunday, included votes from 191 standard audit cases and 45 others were from special scrutiny cases.

According to IEC, ballot boxes which were partially invalidated, included votes from 915 standard audit cases while 1,250 were from special scrutiny cases.

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Election commission invalidates ballots from 236 polling stations http://www.khaama.com/election-commission-invalidates-ballots-from-236-polling-stations-8545 http://www.khaama.com/election-commission-invalidates-ballots-from-236-polling-stations-8545#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 04:43:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38536 Read the full article...]]> afghan electin auditThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) invalidated ballots from 236 polling stations during the 4th session of decision making process.

The decision was wade on Sunday on the status of ballots cast at 5,000 polling stations from across the country.

IEC said the election commissioners also validated ballots from 1,837 polling stations, while ballots from 2,165 polling stations were partially invalidated.

A statement released by IEC said the ballots which were invalidated on Sunday, included ballots from 191 standard audit cases and 45 others were from special scrutiny cases.

The statement further added that ballots which were partially invalidated, included ballots from 915 standard audit cases and 1,250 from special scrutiny cases.

“Commissioners also confirmed the need for closer investigation of 762 polling stations (of which 514 were standard audit cases and 248 were cases of special scrutiny),” IEC said.

IEC said the commissioners make their decisions after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms.

“Audit checklist forms, completed by Audit Teams during the audit process, indicate whether the contents of ballot boxes are valid, invalid or partially invalid, according to IEC Decision 33‐1393,” the statement, said adding that “When they feel it is necessary, Commissioners are also examined individual audit checklist forms (electronic copy or original) for further clarification; or request advice from the United Nations.”

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Afghan Elections Dilemma: Finish before it finishes you http://www.khaama.com/afghan-elections-dilemma-finish-before-it-finishes-you-6615 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-elections-dilemma-finish-before-it-finishes-you-6615#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:59:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38527 Read the full article...]]> Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai wins Afghan Election

Hazrat Bahar has contributed this Op-Ed to Khaama Press (KP). The author can be followed on Twitter @Hazratbahar.

The dilemma:

Afghan elections, as once considered a landmark in the history of Afghanistan, turns into elections impasse. U.S.A had meticulously predicted today’s scenario – elections goes to second round, which will be marred by claims of fraud and the final announcement might take six months- when she was pushing president Hamid Karzai to sign bilateral security agreement. We are more than half done and desperately moving to bleak and gloomy future in the rest of two months, if the dilemma is going to be finished or it finishes us in exactly six months.

During the election impasse, we witnessed many breakings news saying: counting/auditing process stops and resumes. People weary of such narrative. We have been hearing many coded words and expressions from both runners, which are interpreted in different ways. It is hard for those who are part of neither side to understand where the Pandora box is. And both parties are not totally honest vis-à-vis Afghans, for whom the Two were begging to vote in each one’s favor. A very superficial understanding is they have yet to reach power-sharing deal, and issues like fraud and complaints are nothing but sheer pretexts.

The outgoing president urges both runners and IEC to wrap things up sooner as he is packing his stuff up and leaving the much demanded and desired – at least in Afghan politics – chair of Arg (Palace). People can’t decide to decorate their own homes because of election deadlock; “I am waiting for the election to be over before I decide to change the old and worn-out curtains of my house” a woman in Herat was quoted in AAN paper. However, the Two have speeded up the race and have been meeting on daily basis recently, but it has has yet to strike the deal. They are playing a very risky game.

The Price:

Afghanistan economic growth was falling far before elections and it was fairly inevitable. But the election deadlock has been drastically worsening the fading and fragile economy. Business is contracting. The distressing sentiment among national and international investors is quite visible. Local businessmen don’t import goods that may not be sold out within two weeks. This in turns hikes the essential commodities prices throughout the country.

Afghanistan is highly dependent on foreign aids. Donor countries and organizations have either stopped or halved their funding. A member of an international development organization operating in Khost said, “we have stopped all our field projects. We are waiting for elections and our developing budget will be released once a peaceful elections over.” Seemingly, the government is moving to bankruptcy. A recent announcement by finance minister saying they may cut salaries of the government employees if the tassel prolonged proves how stable our economy is. So far, the 2014 election costs the country $ 5 billion, which is one sixth of Afghanistan total GDP.

Having already 30-35% unemployment rate with almost halted hiring has further deteriorated the shrinking economy and the unemployed youths are prone to resort to counterproductive activities. The notion of ‘national interests’ from the Two is losing value.

The first ever Afghan-led regional cooperation process – the heart of Asia or Istanbul process – was delayed. Its fourth round was schedule to be held on 29th of August in China where the member countries’ foreign ministers would meet and discuss Afghanistan oriented issues.

The questions of legitimacy:

The euphoria of elections and post elections is turning into misery and people are losing trust in elections. In a country like Afghanistan, legitimacy of a deal initiated or advised by foreigners is always questionable. The so-called ‘national unity government’ (NUG) deal was brokered by secretary John Kerry. Highly likely the NUG will be interpreted into fragile and weak government, at least in the beginning. Thus, it is hard, if not impossible, for a weak government to demonstrate itself strong and solidified one on national and international arenas.

National unity government, if formed, has plenty of challenges ahead. Security and political stability are two of them. The armed opponent groups of the Afghan government may hardly resort to peace talks – the only mean to bring perpetual stability, if political environment stays as it is. More are at stake and the Two maybe held responsible for causing and prolonging the dilemma.

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IEC: 83.4% of the Afghan presidential election ballots audited http://www.khaama.com/iec-83-4-of-the-afghan-presidential-election-ballots-audited-8539 http://www.khaama.com/iec-83-4-of-the-afghan-presidential-election-ballots-audited-8539#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 08:33:45 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38506 Read the full article...]]> 83.4 percent Afghan ballots auditedThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Saturday that 83.4 percent of votes from the runoff election have been audited since the beginning of the audit and recount process.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, told reporters that the audit teams have managed to audit 19,047 ballot boxes out of 22,821 boxes so far.

Noor further added that the commission is expecting to take decision regarding ballots of 5,000 which have been audited, as part of the validation and invalidation process.

He said the commission is expecting to finalize the audit process within the next few days by completing the audit process on remaining 3,781 ballot boxes.

The election audit process continues in the absence of observers from Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai camps.

Noor said the number of international observers has increased and currently each audit team is being supervised by one international observer.

The election audit process was expected to conclude by the end of this month. However, the process was hampered on numerous occasions due to altercations between the parties involved in the audit process.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan Jan Kubis has said that the presidential vote audit will conclude on 10th of September.

Kubis during a meeting with President Karzai last week, said it will not be possible to conclude the audit process until the second of September and it is expected that the process will end on 10th of September.

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Hezb-e-Islami faction wants Dr. Abdullah to accept election results http://www.khaama.com/hezb-e-islami-faction-wants-dr-abdullah-to-accept-election-results-6613 http://www.khaama.com/hezb-e-islami-faction-wants-dr-abdullah-to-accept-election-results-6613#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:33:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38482 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah AbdullahThe Hezb-e-Islami Councils Alliance (HICA) on Saturday called on presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to accept the presidential election results.

Hezb-e-Islami Councils Alliance (HICA) supporters gathered in capital Kabul on Saturday and insisted that the runoff vote results should be released without any further delay.

HICA supporters called on Dr. Abdullah to accept election results and warned that they will not remain silent if Dr. Abdullah’s camp oppose with the poll results.

Wahidullah Sabawoon, deputy chief of Hezb-e-Islami Councils Alliance, said the alliance wants Reform and Unanimity team-led by Dr. Abdullah to accept the constitution of Afghanistan.

Hezb-e-Islami Alliance (HICA) announced their support to Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai during the presidential election and claim that their team is winner in the second round of election.

Dr. Abdullah boycotted the election process following the announcement of preliminary vote results for runoff election and claimed that massive fraud have been committed in favour of his rival Dr. Ashraf Ghani.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to visit Afghanistan and mediate talks between the two rivals amid fears that the disputed runoff election could threat the stability of the country as certain supporters of Dr. Abdullah suggested to form a parallel government.

Both the candidates agreed to full vote audit of presidential vote and agreed to abide by the outcome of the audit process and form a national unity government in a bid to end the political impasse.

However, Dr. Abdullah’s camp once again pulled out from the audit process last week and warned to boycott the process if their conditions were not met, claiming that the audit and invalidation process was not fairly conducted.

]]> http://www.khaama.com/hezb-e-islami-faction-wants-dr-abdullah-to-accept-election-results-6613/feed 0 Ballots from 69 polling stations invalidated by election commission http://www.khaama.com/ballots-from-69-polling-stations-invalidated-by-election-commission-8525 http://www.khaama.com/ballots-from-69-polling-stations-invalidated-by-election-commission-8525#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:39:45 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38449 Read the full article...]]> ballots from 69 polling stations invalidatedThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) said Friday that ballots from 69 polling stations were invalidated in the third round of their decision-making session on Friday.

IEC further added that decisions were made on the status of ballots cast at 3,000 polling stations from across the country.

“In the presence of national and international observers, United Nations advisors and media, Commissioners reviewed evidence collected during the audit process, at the National Tally Center today,” IEC said.

“In accord with criteria detailed in IEC Decision 33‐1393, the decisions made today led to validation of results from 1807 polling stations; invalidation of results from 69 polling stations; and partial‐invalidation (recount) of results from 628 polling stations.

Commissioners confirmed the need for closer investigation of 496 polling stations, and deferred decision‐making on these particular cases, accordingly,” IEC said following a statement.

According to IEC, the decisions were made after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms. Audit checklist forms, completed by Audit Teams during the audit process, indicate whether the contents of ballot boxes are valid, invalid or partially invalid, according to IEC Decision 33-1393.

“When they feel it is necessary, Commissioners are also examined individual audit checklist forms (electronic copy or original) for further clarification; or request advice from the United Nations,” IEC said, adding that decision‐making sessions will occur every other day at the National Tally Center, from (25 August) until all audit.

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Election audit process continues in absence of candidates observers http://www.khaama.com/election-audit-process-continues-in-absence-of-candidates-observers-6607 http://www.khaama.com/election-audit-process-continues-in-absence-of-candidates-observers-6607#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:09:12 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38427 Read the full article...]]> Noor Mohammad NoorThe presidential election audit process was launched on Thursday in the absence of observers from Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai camps.

Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, said the audit process started on Thursday morning and continues in a normal manner.

Noor further added that the audit process has not faced any isusue so far and 76.2 percent of the ballots have been audited so far.

He also added that 1,500 out of 6,000 ballot boxes, which were designated for special audit, have been audited and recounted.

The election audit remained suspended for almost seven hours on Wednesday due to the absence of Dr. Abdullah’s observer in the premises of election commission.

Abdullah’s chief observer, Fazal Ahmad Mawani, warned on Tuesday that they boycott the vote audit process, claiming that the audit process was not transparent and influenced by politics.

Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s camp also pulled all it’s observers from the audit process based on United Nation’s request after Abdullah’s observers did not appear in IEC premises.

The UN mission in Afghanistan expressed regrets regarding Dr. Abdullah’s decision to halt participation in election audit process and pledged support to Afghan authorities to complete the audit process.

The United Nations requested the team of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to review their own participation in the audit process, given the decision of Dr. Abdullah’s team, and in the interests of protecting the integrity of the audit process, UNAMA said.

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US ambassador says fraud committed on both sides in Afghan election http://www.khaama.com/us-ambassador-says-fraud-committed-on-both-sides-in-afghan-election-8518 http://www.khaama.com/us-ambassador-says-fraud-committed-on-both-sides-in-afghan-election-8518#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:08:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38392 Read the full article...]]> James CunninghamThe US ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham has said that both sides have committed fraud during the second round of presidential election.

In interview with CNN’s Amanpour, Cunningham said there was fraud committed on both sides.

“We know that from various sources and various kinds of evidence. But we don’t know how much. There are charges and allegations on both sides that I’m not in a position to pass judgment on at this point,” he said.

Cunningham also responded to a question regarding Washington’s concerns about the persistence of differences between the two candidates and any unconstitutional act to create an interim government and take power.

He told Amanpour, “There are reports and there have been threats and we take them seriously,” the Ambassador told her.

“We’ve been very vocal about the fact that there needs to be an Afghan government that’s created through the legitimate and constitutional process that we won’t support any actions outside of the constitution and the legal process,” Cunningham added.

He said, “That’s what the Afghan political class and the Afghan people should be focused on. It’s that kind of government that will have the support of a broad spectrum of Afghan opinion but very importantly, it’s only a government that comes out of a constitutional process that will have this kind of support.”

The remarks by Cunningham comes as the electon adit process was once again marred due to differences between the candidates that resulted to suspension of the process on Wednesday.

Dr. Abdullah’s electoral camp warned that to boycott the audit process and said they have set demands and conditions for audit and invalidation of the ballots.

In the meantime, reports suggest that the election commission along with UN and International observers resumed the audit process after almost 7 hours of delay on Wednesday.

The observers of Dr. Ghani were also asked to pull from the audit process due to the absence of Dr. Abdullah’s observers.

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Dr. Ghani pulls observers from election audit on UN’s request http://www.khaama.com/dr-ghani-pulls-observers-from-election-audit-on-uns-request-8517 http://www.khaama.com/dr-ghani-pulls-observers-from-election-audit-on-uns-request-8517#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:29:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38388 Read the full article...]]> Dr. GhaniPresidential candidate Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadai’s observers were pulled from election audit on United Nation’s request.

Officials in Dr. Ghani’s camp have said the request by UN was made on Wednesday after Dr. Abdullah’s camp warned to withdraw from the audit process.

The officials further added that over all responsibility was transferred to UN mision in Afghanistan after the election observers were withdrawn from the process.

The election audit remained suspended on Wednesday due to the absence of Dr. Abdullah’s observer in the premises of election commission.

Abdullah’s chief observer, Fazal Ahmad Mawani, warned on Tuesday that they boycott the vote audit process, claiming that the audit process was not transparent and influenced by politics.

Manawi told reporters on Tuesday that their camp has set new conditions for the audit and invalidation process, and insisted that their demands must be met by Wednesday morning.

An election commission official confirmed that negotiations were process between between representatives of Dr. Abdullah and Independent Election Commission and UN mission in Afghanistan. However, no further details have been disclosed regarding the talks so far.

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Karzai again hosts presidential candidates for talks on election issues http://www.khaama.com/karzai-again-hosts-presidential-candidates-for-talks-on-election-issues http://www.khaama.com/karzai-again-hosts-presidential-candidates-for-talks-on-election-issues#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:12:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38354 Read the full article...]]> Karzai hosts Afghan candidatesAfghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to once again host presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai for talks on election issues.

The Ministers Council following a statement said President Karzai will hold talks on audit process and urge the two contenders for quick conclusion of electoral process.

The statement further added that President Hamid Karzai has instructed the relevant government institutions to prepare for the presidential inauguration as scheduled before.

This comes as the electoral bodies started the invalidation process of bogus ballot papers on Monday, while the audit process of around 30% of votes has not been completed so far.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, said over 6000 ballot boxes have not been audited so far which will be completed soon.

Noor further added that the commission will also release the check lists on Wednesday which will reveal the number of votes invalidated by election commissioners.

In the meantime, President Hamid Karzai is expected to hold talks with the presidential candidates on the remaining ballot boxes which have not been audited so far.

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Ballots from 72 polling stations invalidated by election commissioners http://www.khaama.com/ballots-from-72-polling-stations-invalidated-by-election-commissioners-6598 http://www.khaama.com/ballots-from-72-polling-stations-invalidated-by-election-commissioners-6598#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:05:57 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38319 Read the full article...]]> Afghan votes invalidatedThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan announced Monday that the ballots from 72 polling stations were invalidated during the first day of invalidation process.

In the meantime, the ballots from 697 polling stations were marked as partial-invalid which will be recounted.

“In the first of their decision‐making sessions, Independent Election Commission (IEC) members have made decisions on the status of ballots cast at 3,645 polling stations from across the country,” IEC said.

The evidence collected during the audit process were reviewed by commissioners in the presence of candidate agents, national and international observers, United Nations advisors and media.

“Of the polling station results considered today, there was evidence of irregularities in 769 (approximately 21%) cases. In accord with criteria detailed in IEC Decision 33‐1393, this led to invalidation of results from 72 stations  and partial‐invalidation (recount) of results from 697,” IEC said.

The commission also added that the impact of the decison on the number of ballots to be incldued in teh tally of election results will be availed to public at a later date.

IEC said Monday’s decision have been reported in great detail on the website of the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

“IEC Commissioners make their decisions after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms. Audit checklist forms, completed by Audit Teams during the audit process, indicate whether the contents of ballot boxes are valid, invalid or partially invalid, according to IEC Decision 33‐1393,” IEC said.

IEC also added that the commissioners may also examine individual audit checklist forms (electronic copy or original) form further clarification; or request advice from the United Nations, when they feel it is necessary.

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Afghanistan suffers $5 billion financial loss due to election deadlock http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-suffers-5-billion-financial-loss-due-to-election-deadlock-8499 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-suffers-5-billion-financial-loss-due-to-election-deadlock-8499#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:41:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38317 Read the full article...]]> Dr. Omar ZakhilwalAfghanistan has suffered over $5 billion financial loss due to political impasse as a result of election deadlock, Finance Ministry officials said.

Finance Minister, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, has said the deadlock has also resulted in capital flight from the country which amounts to almost $6 billion.

In an interview with the BBC Farsi, Zakhilwal, expressed concerns that the negative impact of financial loss will remain for a longer period of time.

Zakhilwal also warned of economic crisis if the election deadlock was not resolved and the vote results was not released on time.

He said the deadlock has resulted to reduction in government revenue and warned that country would move towards an unstable condition if the deadlock persists.

Zakhil said the government will be forced to cut jobs and reduce salaries of the government employees in case of an economic crisis in the country.

This comes as the Ministry of Finance had earlier informed of a 25 percent reduction in government revenues as compared to last year.

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Afghanistan begins decision making on election audit result http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-begins-decision-making-on-election-audit-result-8496 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-begins-decision-making-on-election-audit-result-8496#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 07:31:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38308 Read the full article...]]> Afghan vote auditThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) said Monday that the election commissioners are set to meet today to commence decision‐making on the audit of all ballots cast in the Presidential run‐off election of 14 June.

“Occurring daily at the National Tally Center, from 25 August until all audit findings have been reviewed, today’s inaugural session is scheduled to begin at 2pm. Candidate agents, national and international observers, United Nations advisors, and media will be present,” IEC said following a statement.

The statement furhter added that the commissioners will make their decisions after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms.

The audit checklist form, completed by Audit Teams during the audit process, indicates whether the contents of a ballot box are valid, invalid or partially invalid, according to IEC Decision 33‐1393, the statement added.

IEC said the form also provides a space in which additional comments can be provided – including comments received from candidate agents, citing unusual circumstances or drawing attention to irregularities warranting special attention.

“When they feel it is necessary, Commissioners may also examine individual audit checklist forms (electronic copy or original) for further clarification,” the statement said, adding that the commissioners may also request advice of United Nations advisors, who will attend all decision‐making sessions.

IEC also added that following every decision-making session, the IEC will publish Commission decisions on its website and, periodically, quantifiable (numeric) results of validation, recount/partial-invalidation, and invalidation will also be shared.

Only ballots confirmed as valid by Commissioners will be included in the tally of Presidential run-off election results, IEC said, adding that “This could mean that final figures are different than those previously announced; and will produce results more accurately reflect the choices of Afghan voters.”

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63 percent of the Afghan presidential election ballots audited http://www.khaama.com/63-percent-of-the-afghan-presidential-election-ballots-audited-8482 http://www.khaama.com/63-percent-of-the-afghan-presidential-election-ballots-audited-8482#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 07:18:36 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38246 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan vote audit 63 percent completedThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Friday that 63 percent of votes from the runoff election have been audited since the beginning of the audit and recount process.

IEC spokesman, Noor mohammad Noor, said the audit teams have managed to audit around 14,516 ballot boxes so far, which also includes ballot boxes on which special audit process was conducted.

Noor further added that the commission is expecting to begin work on invalidation process of fakes votes from Monday.

The audit process was once again delayed on Friday and was resumed after almost one hour delay due to a dispute among the observers of the electoral camps.

According to reports, the altercation happened after a number of ballot boxes were discovered where discrepancies were noted between the number of votes recorded in the database and the actual number of votes recovered from the boxes.

In the meantime, an agreement was signed between the electoral camps of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and the United Nations to prevent furhter disputes that would delay the audit process.

The two electoral camps have said they are hopeful that the signing of the disciplinary agreement will prevent further disputes and delay of the audit process.

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UN condemns clash between Abdullah’s observers and election workers http://www.khaama.com/un-condemns-clash-between-abdullahs-observers-and-electin-workers-8472 http://www.khaama.com/un-condemns-clash-between-abdullahs-observers-and-electin-workers-8472#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:36:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38142 Read the full article...]]> Afghan election workerThe United Nations has expressed concern about yesterday’s clash between supporters of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team and workers from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) that left several people hurt at the audit centre compound in Kabul.

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said Wednesday that this is not the first case in which representatives of the campaign teams have engaged in heated exchanges culminating in violence.

“The UN deplores the violence that took place,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš. “All parties – campaign teams, IEC, UN and observers – engaged in this important process must abide by relevant Codes of Conduct, and conduct themselves with professionalism and with high standards worthy of the millions of Afghans who cast their vote in the election. They must treat each other with respect.

Supervisors of the respective groups are responsible for guiding them and for controlling the situation, not to let disputes deteriorate in to confrontation.”

A statement released by UNAMA said, the UN welcomes the agreement to establish a joint-committee to investigate Tuesday evening’s incident.

The UN mission urged that steps be taken to prevent any such incidents in the future and to ensure that the audit process proceeds quickly under the conditions of mutual respect, dignity and safety.

More than 12,000 of the 22,828 ballot boxes have to date been audited under the UN-supervised process, with national partners backed by more than 150 UN experts.

At least four election workers were reportedly injured after observers of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah stabbed the election workers on Tuesday evening.

The incident took place around 5:30 pm local time after observers of Dr. Abdullah opposed with shifting of a ballot box from IEC store to recount centre.

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4 injured after Abdullah’s observers attack election workers with knives http://www.khaama.com/4-injured-after-abdullahs-observers-attack-election-workers-with-knives-6576 http://www.khaama.com/4-injured-after-abdullahs-observers-attack-election-workers-with-knives-6576#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:43:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38112 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah observerAt least four people were injured after an observer of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah attacked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) worker during the audit process.

The incident took place around 5:30 pm local time on Tuesday following a brawl between the Abdullah observers and IEC workers in one of the warehouses of election commission, an official said.

The official speaking on the condition of anonymity futher added that the assailants managed to flee the area after stabbing the election workers.

He said the injured election workers were taken to hospital for treatment and there are no reports regarding their health condition.

Preliminary reports suggest that the incident took place after the election workers brought a ballot box from IEC store to the recount centre, but was opposed by Abdullah observers who started attacking the election workers.

Kabul security officials have not commented regarding the incident so far.

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48.7 percent of the Afghan presidential election ballots audited http://www.khaama.com/48-7-percent-of-the-afghan-presidential-election-ballots-audited-8463 http://www.khaama.com/48-7-percent-of-the-afghan-presidential-election-ballots-audited-8463#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:22:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=38062 Read the full article...]]> Afghan vote auditThe Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) said Monday that nearly half of the presidential ballots have been audited so far.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, said around 11,133 ballot boxes which forms 48.7 percent of the total ballots, have been audited so far.

Noor further added that half of the presidential ballots audit was completed in almost one month period.

He said 613 IEC employees are also invovled in the audit process where 484 employees have taken part in the normal audit process and the remaining 129 employees are invovled in the special audit of 6,000 ballot boxes.

Accoridng to Noor, around 76 ballot boxes were audit during the special audit process as of Sunday.

IEC officials have said the audit process will continue despite public holidays in a bid to end the lengthy election process.

The audit process has been halted on numerous occassions due to disputes between the presidential camps of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

In the meantime, Noor said that the audit process is being accelerated as each day passes and the election commission is expecting to finalize the process and announce the results as scheduled.

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NATO warns Afghanistan of total pullout unless election deadlock ends http://www.khaama.com/nato-warns-afghanistan-of-total-pullout-unless-election-deadlock-ends-8423 http://www.khaama.com/nato-warns-afghanistan-of-total-pullout-unless-election-deadlock-ends-8423#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:07:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37839 Read the full article...]]> ???????????????The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has warned that the alliance will be forced to take a decision regarding the total NATO forces pullout from Afghanistan unless a deadlock over the Afghan election ends and the new Afghan president signs the bilateral security agreement with Washington and NATO status of forces agreement.

Rasmussen said the NATO summit slated for September 4-5 in Wales would be very close to a dadline for taking that decision.

“Soon we will have to take tough decisions because if there isn’t a legal basis for our continued presence in Afghanistan, we will have to withdraw everything by the end of this year and to do that we will have to start planning … very soon,” Rasmussen told Reuters.

NATO plans to leave behind a smaller force in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train and advise Afghan security forces. HOwever, the alliance insists that the new Afghan president needs to sign the security agreements with Washington and NATO allowing foreign forces to stay.

The draft bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington was endorsed during the consultative Loya Jirga in November last year. However, president Hamid Karzai refused to sign the deal and set pre-conditions for the signing of the pacts.

Both the presidential contenders, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, have vowed to sign the security agreements once take office as the next president of Afghanistan.

In the meantime, Rasmussen expressed concerns regarding the delays in signing the agreements and indicated that the situation was now becoming critical as further delays have sparked anxiety at NATO headquarters since the delays have  sharply reduced the time available for detailed planning of the post-2014 mission.

The remarks by Rasmussen comes as there are concerns that announcement of the Afghan vote audit and final election result could be further delayed due to disputes among the presidential contenders over vote audit and formation of the unity government which was agreed during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Afghanistan.

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Cunningham urge Afghan candidates to fulfill promises, end lengthy election process http://www.khaama.com/cunningham-urge-afghan-candidates-to-fulfill-promises-end-lenghty-election-process-6538 http://www.khaama.com/cunningham-urge-afghan-candidates-to-fulfill-promises-end-lenghty-election-process-6538#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:06:41 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37830 Read the full article...]]> James-CunninghamThe US ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham, called on Afghan presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to fulfil their commitments and end the lenghty election process.

Cunnigham told reporters it is vital that the next president of Afghanistan should be elected by end of this month so that he attends the important international summits, including the NATO summit in Wales.

He rejected that the unity government was proposed by Washington and said the formation of a unity government was an idea proposed by Afghan politicians.

Cunningham expressed concerns that the Afghan people are not clear regarding the details of the unity government and no specific definition has been provided in this regard.

However, Cunningham said the formation of a unity government is a better option considering the current situation of Afghanistan.

The remarks by Cunningham comes as the US Secretary of State John Kerry made two visit to Afghanistan to end the political impasse due to the elections.

Both Abdullah and Ghani agreed to a complete vote audit and formation a unity government following Kerry’s visit to Afghanistan. However, there are concerns regarding disputes between the two camps which could further delay the audit process.

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Election observers attack and beat journalists during audit process http://www.khaama.com/election-observers-attack-and-beat-journalists-during-audit-process-6535 http://www.khaama.com/election-observers-attack-and-beat-journalists-during-audit-process-6535#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 16:32:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37784 Read the full article...]]> beating of journalistsTwo local journalists were attacked and beaten by election observers belonging to Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s camp.

The incident took place on Sunday in one of the warehouses of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) during the vote audit process.

The two local journalists are employed by Rah-e-Farda and Khurshid local TV stations, who were beaten while they were filming the audit process.

The video record of the two journalists were reportedly cleaned by the observers of Dr. Ghani.

NAI organization, which supports open media in Afghanistan, condemned the act and called on relevant institutions to arrest and try those involved behind the beating of the two journalists.

The organization also called on Independent Election Commission (IEC) to assist the media agencies while they prepare reports regarding the audit process.

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Karzai says election results must be announced by August end http://www.khaama.com/karzai-says-election-results-must-be-announced-by-august-end-6526 http://www.khaama.com/karzai-says-election-results-must-be-announced-by-august-end-6526#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:35:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37680 Read the full article...]]> KarzaiAfghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday that the presidential vote results must be announced by the end of this month.

President Karzai met with the UN special representative for Afghanistan Ján Kubiš to discuss the process of votes audit currently underway.

Karzai expressed concerns regarding the negative impact of election delays which has negatively affected the country’s security, stability and economy of the country, the presidential palace said in a statement.

He emphasized that the election results must be announced within the timeline as previously agreed (current month of August) so that the new President can take office.

“The President stressed that the Afghan people, who went in millions to exercise their right, 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,” the statement by presidential palace said.

This comes as the US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Afghanistan late Thursday to lay out a road map for Afghanistan to complete a vote audit and inaugurate a new president by the end of the month.

Kerry is expected to encourage Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani to accelerate the vote audit and make progress on a power-sharing agreement reached during his visit last month.

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Over 200 additional international election observers arrive in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/over-200-additional-international-election-observers-arrive-in-afghanistan-6506 http://www.khaama.com/over-200-additional-international-election-observers-arrive-in-afghanistan-6506#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:33:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37511 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan vote auditA large contingent of international observers have arrived in Afghanistan to play a key role in comprehensive audit of the results of the Presidential election run-off held on 14 June.

The audit process is expected to resume on Saturday by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan in full presence of international and domestic observers, candidates’ agents, the media and UN advisors.

The international observers are hailing from the European Union and including its Election Assessment Team (EU EAT) and the American non-government organizations National Democratic Institute (NDI), Democracy International (DI) and Creative as well as Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL).

Dozens of experts from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will also be based in the audit warehouses where they will provide advice on international best practices and provide good offices for dispute resolution.

Jeff Fischer, a senior international expert on elections, was also among the large contingent of the international observers who arrived in Afghanistan today. His prior experience with the United Nations includes serving as chief electoral officer for the Popular Consultation for East Timor and heading the Joint Registration Taskforce in Kosovo.

“The arrival of a large contingent of international observers, in addition to the domestic observer groups, and UN experts is a powerful and tangible expression of the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan. It reflects a deep desire by Afghanistan’s international partners to respond to the two candidates’ urgent request to ease the electoral impasse the country faced by helping Afghan institutions conduct a comprehensive and credible audit, in accordance with best international practice and under robust international supervision,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš.

The Special Representative called upon the campaigns of the two Presidential candidates to honour their agreement to take advantage of the extensive international mobilisation and goodwill through their participation in the fully transparent audit of every single ballot box which they themselves requested.

“Now that the complete regulatory framework for the audit is in place – as proposed by the United Nations in full and thorough consultation with the parties and based on best international practice – this unprecedented audit provides a credible mechanism to address the concerns of the parties and the people so as to ensure justice and the legitimacy of the result of the Presidential elections,” Mr. Kubiš said. “It would be a disservice to the millions of ordinary Afghans who bravely voted across the two rounds if it is not made use of, if it is marred by further interruptions.”

Under the 12 July technical agreement reached by the two Presidential candidates, the United Nations was asked to propose the manner for the international supervision of the audit, which involves the entirety of the approximately 23,000 ballot boxes from the run-off being audited in Kabul by the IEC in the presence of international and domestic observers, candidate agents, the media and UN experts.

Any disputes or questions not responded to in a satisfactory manner in the audit will be referred to UN supervisors for advice, including on international best practices, or for resolution through its good offices.

The agreement also calls on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to transport all of the ballot boxes from the provinces to the capital, Kabul, with UN support. Accompanied by IEC officials, campaign agents and the Afghan security forces, to date ISAF and the UN have moved almost 75 per cent of the boxes to Kabul without incident.

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Obama discuss progress toward election process with Afghan candidates http://www.khaama.com/obama-discuss-progress-toward-election-process-with-afghan-candidates-8366 http://www.khaama.com/obama-discuss-progress-toward-election-process-with-afghan-candidates-8366#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 05:30:38 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37391 Read the full article...]]> Obama calls Afghan candidatesThe US President Barack Obama has called the presidential contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to discuss elections process and progress made towards a political settlement.

A statement released by White House Press Office said, “The President spoke with Afghan presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani today to thank them for their leadership in reaching an agreement to form a national unity government and to accept the outcome of the full audit of the ballots in the June 14 run-off election currently being undertaken by the election commissions. “

The statement further added, “He commended the two candidates for putting the interests of Afghanistan first and committing to working together as partners in governance.”

Obama also called on Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani to publicly endorse their previously agreed political framework and continue their dialogue on the details of its implementation to ensure the Afghan people have full confidence in the ongoing electoral process and outcome.

He also urged the two candidates to maintain to move forward in the spirit of collegiality to maintain national unity during this historic democratic transition, and indicated that Secretary Kerry would continue his close consultations with the two candidates and President Karzai in the days to come.

“He reiterated that there is no justification for rhetoric that threatens extra-constitutional measures and urged Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani to continue to move forward in the spirit of collegiality to maintain national unity during this historic democratic transition,” the statement said.

Obama also reaffirmed the enduring American commitment to the Afghan people and their future.

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Afghanistan was at risk of major disaster due to elections: Spanta http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-was-at-risk-of-major-disaster-due-to-elections-spanta-6454 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-was-at-risk-of-major-disaster-due-to-elections-spanta-6454#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:48:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37246 Read the full article...]]> spantaThe national security advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta said Tuesday that the runoff presidential election had placed Afghanistan in a dangerous situation.

Spanta said an agreement to form a national unity government was key to rescue the country from an uncontrollable situation and end the political impasse.

He said majority of the people were pessimistic regarding a democratic process and half of the people were feeling discrimination due to an orchestrated election process.

According to Spanta, the issue had sparked rage and furor among the Afghan people which had put Afghanistan in a dangerous and uncontrollable situation.

He said the anti-government armed militant groups and terrorist networks would benefit more than any one else that could further destabilize the country.

The agreement to form a national unity government was reached between the two presidential contenders, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, following US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit.

Kerry visited Kabul amid concerns that the disputed runoff election could endanger the stability of the country as certain allies of a presidential candidate had suggested a parallel government.

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Afghan election vote audit suspended following disagreements http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-vote-audit-suspended-following-disagreements-8344 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-election-vote-audit-suspended-following-disagreements-8344#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 07:46:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37137 Read the full article...]]> afghan vote audit suspendedAccording to reports, the audit of presidential votes have been halted due to misunderstandings between the electoral teams of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

The audit process was suspended on Saturday evening and the process resumed later on Sunday following negotiations to ease the dispute.

Noor Mohammad Noor, spokesman for the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC), told reporters that the audit process has been halted temporarily due to technical issues in audit process.

Noor further added that the observers of the two teams had disagreements regarding the ballot papers which were signed by the voters.

Earlier reports suggest the audit was suspended after Abdullah’s team urged to disqualify ballot boxes which have over 600 votes.

However, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s team opposed to the request by Dr. Abdullah’s team.

There were also reports that Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s observers have abandoned the place where vote audit was conducted.

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Taliban group following a statement claimed that Washington has made major investments on Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and organized strong campaigns for him, besides offering him enormous amounts of money to attract the well known people to his camp.

The statement by Taliban further added that Washington could not continue use President Karzai as it’s moderator for coming years, being the importer of democracy to other nations and therefore chose Ashraf Ghani to implement its strategies in Afghanistan.

Taliban also claimed that Washington was looking to appoint Zalmai Khalilzad as its moderator in Afghanistan; however, the decisio was revised considering the sensitivies of the Afghan people.

The remarks by Taliban group comes as the electoral bodies are busy with the vote audit for the ruoff election which will declare the final winner of the presidential election.

In the meantime, Taliban claimed that Dr. Ghani can better implement the strategies of Washington in Afghanistan, as he has completed his higher education in United States and was a resident of the same country for a considerable period of time.

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Abdullah meets Ghani in his residence to discuss election, political settlement http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-meets-ghani-in-his-residence-to-discuss-election-political-settlement-6431 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-meets-ghani-in-his-residence-to-discuss-election-political-settlement-6431#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:29:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37065 Read the full article...]]> abdullah meets ghaniDr. Abdullah Abdullah met with Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in his residence on Friday to discuss the election and the agreement the two contenders had reached to form a national unity government.

The electoral team of Dr. Abdullah said the two presidential contenders met for the second time to discuss the vote counting process and political settlement.

The two contenders agreed on transparency of the election process and presence of their representatives in the Secretariat of the Independent Election Commission.

Abdullah and Ghani emphasized to abide by the result of the extensive vote audit, the electoral team of Abdullah said, adding that the meeting was organized in a friendly environment.

On political side, the two contenders agreed to consider the agreements of the two sides while forming the framework of the political agreement.

The first round of talks between the two contenders was organized earlier this week in Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s residence.

The agreement to form a national unity government was reached following US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Kabul.

The visit by Kerry to Afghanistan last week, came amid concerns that the disputed runoff presidential election could endanger the stability of the country.

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Obama welcomes breakthrough in Afghan election crisis http://www.khaama.com/obama-welcomes-breakthrough-in-afghan-election-crisis-6417 http://www.khaama.com/obama-welcomes-breakthrough-in-afghan-election-crisis-6417#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:04:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=37018 Read the full article...]]> ObamaThe US President Barack Obama welcomed breakthrough in Afghan election crisis and hailed the presidential contenders for putting the interests of a united Afghanistan first.

“First of all, I thanked Secretary Kerry and our outstanding civilian and military leaders in Afghanistan for their success in helping to break the impasse over the presidential election there,” Obama quoted in a statement by presidential palace said.

Obama also thanked the Afghan and the courage of the two presidential contenders who agreed to abide by the results of the comprehensive vote audit.

He said, “If they keep their commitments, Afghanistan will witness the first democratic transfer of power in the history of that nation.”

“This progress will honor both candidates who have put the interests of a united Afghanistan first, the millions of Afghans who defied threats in order to vote, and the service of our troops and civilians who have sacrificed so much,” Obama said, adding that, “This progress reminds us that even as our combat mission in Afghanistan ends this year, America’s commitment to a sovereign, united, and democratic Afghanistan will endure –- along with our determination that Americans are never again threatened by terrorists inside of Afghanistan.”

The US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived to Afghanistan last week amid concerns that the disputed elections could endanger the stability of the country.

The two presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai agreed to full audit of the votes and promised a national unity government, following the talks mediated by Kerry.

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Winner of Afghan election to lose Chief Executive seat: Mohaqiq http://www.khaama.com/winner-of-afghan-election-to-lose-chief-executive-seat-mohaqiq-6398 http://www.khaama.com/winner-of-afghan-election-to-lose-chief-executive-seat-mohaqiq-6398#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:56:24 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36825 Read the full article...]]> Afghan candidates agreementMohammad Mohaqiq, who is contesting as the vice-president of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, has said that the winner of the runoff election will lose the Chief Executive seat in the national unity government which was agreed by the two contenders.

Mohaqiq has told BBC that the agreement was reached following the mediation of US Secretary of State John Kerry and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

He said the Afghan constitution will be adjusted within the next two years to change the position of Chief Executive to Prime Minister role.

This comes as a source close to Ahmad Zia Massoud revealed Saturday that Mohammad Youis Qanooni has been suggested for the Chief Executive role in the next Afghan government.

The source further added that the suggestion was made by John Kerry to Ahmad Zia Massoud who is currently nominated for the post.

The electoral team of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has not commented regarding the report so far; however, Dr. Ghani’s spokesman Faizullah Zaki has said that the loser of the runoff election will have a role in the next government.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Saturday agreed to full audit of the votes and committed to abide abide by the results of the extensive audit which will declare the winner of the election.

The two contenders also promised a national unity government under the winner which will be declared once the audit is completed.

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EU welcomes breakthrough in Afghan election deadlock http://www.khaama.com/eu-welcomes-breakthrough-in-afghan-election-deadlock-6396 http://www.khaama.com/eu-welcomes-breakthrough-in-afghan-election-deadlock-6396#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 11:02:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36817 Read the full article...]]> From left, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Afghanistan's presidential candidate  Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah,, hold hands during  a joint press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 12, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both of Afghanistan's presidential candidates are committed to abiding by the results of the "largest, most comprehensive audit" of the election runoff ballots possible. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)The European Union (EU) High Representative welcomed the agreement by presidential candidates for the full audit of votes in runoff presidential election.

“We welcome the agreement between Afghan presidential candidates Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on a comprehensive audit of the results of the presidential elections, which is a confirmation of their desire to fulfil the democratic aspirations of the Afghan people and restore confidence in the election process,” the EU High Representatives said following a statement.

The statement further added, “We applaud the two candidates for their leadership and readiness for compromise in the interest of the people of Afghanistan. We commend US Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ján Kubiš for their tireless efforts to facilitate this agreement.”

“The EU will continue supporting a democratic and legitimate transition of power in Afghanistan including through the EU Election Assessment Team which will closely follow the agreed auditing of election results,” the statement added.

The Afghan presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, agreed to 100 percent vote audit for the second round of election.

The agreement between the two candidates was reached following two days talks brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry to end the deadlock.

Abdullah and Ghani also agreed to abide by the audit results and promised a national unity government under the winner which will be declared once the audit is completed.

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India congratulates Afghan candidates for resolving election crisis http://www.khaama.com/india-congratulates-afghan-candidates-for-resolving-election-crisis-8308 http://www.khaama.com/india-congratulates-afghan-candidates-for-resolving-election-crisis-8308#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:29:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36811 Read the full article...]]> Afghan candidates resolve election crisisIndia welcomed the agreement reached between the Afghan presidential contenders to resolve the impasse from runoff presidential election.

The Indian Embassy in Kabul congratulated both Presidential candidates for agreeing to next steps in the electoral process.

“This will strengthen faith of the Afghan people in democracy and promote national unity,” the Embassy said following an online statement.

Presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai agreed for 100 percent votes audit after the US Secretary of State brokered talks in a bid to end the deadlock.

Abdullah and Ghani also agreed to abide by the results of the extensive audit and promised a national unity government under the winner which will be declared once the audit is completed.

Kerry arrived in Afghanistan on Friday and meet with the presidential candidates, president Hamid Karzai, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan and other high level officials during his two visit to Afghanistan.

His to Afghanistan was followed amid fears that the disputed presidential election, marred with widespread fraud could endanger the stability of the country.

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Kerry suggests change in Ghani’s team to end election crisis http://www.khaama.com/kerry-suggests-changes-in-ghanis-team-to-end-election-crisis-6392 http://www.khaama.com/kerry-suggests-changes-in-ghanis-team-to-end-election-crisis-6392#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 15:28:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36775 Read the full article...]]> John Kerry and Ashraf GhaniUnconfirmed reports suggest that the US Secretary of State John Kerry has suggested change in Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s team in a bid to end the election crisis.

The suggestions were reportedly made during the last day of Kerry’s meeting with the presidential candidates.

Kerry has suggested to replace Ahmad Zia Massoud as Chief Executive by Younus Qanooni in Dr. Ghani’s team, a source close to Ahmad Zia Massoud has revealed.

The source further added that the suggestion by John Kerry was rejected by Ahmad Zia Massoud.

The electoral team of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has not commented regarding the report so far.

Kerry arrived in Afghanistan on Friday to help resolve the political impasse due to the runoff presidential election.

He met with the two presidential candidates, electoral officials, UN officials and president Hamid Karzai during his visit to Afghanistan.

He is expected to appear in a press conference following his meeting with the presidential candidates on Saturday evening.

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Kerry arrives in Afghanistan to help resolve election crisis http://www.khaama.com/kerry-arrives-in-afghanistan-to-help-resolve-election-crisis-6383 http://www.khaama.com/kerry-arrives-in-afghanistan-to-help-resolve-election-crisis-6383#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 03:48:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36725 Read the full article...]]> Kerry arrives in AfghanistanThe US Secretary of State John has arrived in Afghanistan to meet with the Afghan officials and presidential candidates to help resolve the election crisis.

State Department spokesman, Jeff Rathke said Kerry would meet with the Afghan president Hamid Karzi, presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and officials from the United Nations.

Rathke said Kerry will press for a thorough review “of all reasonable allegations of fraud,” which would entail doing significant additional audits.

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) released the preliminary vote results for the runoff presidential election earlier this week which declared Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai winner who secured 56.44 percent of the vote.

However, Dr. Abdullah rejected the preliminary vote results as a “coup” against the Afghan people and warned to resist against the fake results, with Abdullah’s close allies suggesting the formation of a parallel government.

In the meantime, the UN mission in Afghanistan presented its proposal for the resolution of the election crisis to Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Thursday and suggested that votes of 8000 polling stations which is equivalent to 3.5 million votes should be audited.

President Hamid Karzai endorsed the UN proposal form and called on presidential candidates and electoral bodies to cooperate in a bid to resolve the crisis.

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Pakistan seeks peaceful settlement to election crisis in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/pakistan-seeks-peaceful-settlement-to-election-crisis-in-afghanistan-6373 http://www.khaama.com/pakistan-seeks-peaceful-settlement-to-election-crisis-in-afghanistan-6373#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:47:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36668 Read the full article...]]> Afghan election crisisPakistan on Wednesday announced its full support for peaceful democratic transition in Afghanistan and called for a peaceful and negotiated settlement of differences over the runoff election.

The Foreign Office of Pakistan following a statement said, “In this regard, we took several measures to enhance vigilance and security along the border, during the first and second round of elections on 5 April and 14 June 2014, respectively.”

Tasnim Aslam, spokesperson for the Foreign Office, quoted in the statement said, “We have seen the announcement by the Independent Election Commission regarding preliminary results of the second round and noted the statement that these are not final and it is our earnest hope that all related issues would be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, in a timely manner and within the framework of Afghanistan’s constitution and laws.”

“We would continue to support all endeavours that help advance the cause of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan,” she said.

The call by Islamabad comes a day after presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah rejected the preliminary results, which has raised concerns about a looming political crisis.

Abdullah accused the government and electoral bodies for being invovled in massive fraud in favor his rival Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who secured lead in preliminary vote results for the runoff election.

The supporters of Dr. Abdullah and his close allies suggested that the massive fraud has paved the way for the announcement a parallel government.

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Credible election vital for continued international support to Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/credible-election-vital-for-continued-international-support-to-afghanistan-8288 http://www.khaama.com/credible-election-vital-for-continued-international-support-to-afghanistan-8288#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:19:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36645 Read the full article...]]> 140708a-001.jpgThe NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that a transparent and credible election is vital for continued international support to Afghanistan.

“We have achieved a lot, but not without cost. and I want to pay particular tribute to the sacrifice made by American forces in Afghanistan,” the Secretary General said.

He stressed that “the electoral process in Afghanistan must run its course to a transparent and credible conclusion. This is vital for the future of Afghanistan and for continued international support.”

Rasmussen met with the US President Barack Obama on Tuesday and discussed the situation in Afghanistan and preparations for NATO Summit in Wales.

At the Wales Summit, Allies will also turn a new page in Afghanistan. NATO will at the end of this year complete its longest combat mission and has already started to prepare to train, advise, and assist the Afghan forces after 2014.

The summit will be attended by heads of state and senior officials in the international community along with senior Afghan government officials including the Afghan president.

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Obama intervenes in disputed Afghan presidential election http://www.khaama.com/obama-intervenes-in-disputed-afghan-presidential-election-8286 http://www.khaama.com/obama-intervenes-in-disputed-afghan-presidential-election-8286#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 04:31:41 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36638 Read the full article...]]> Obama Fiscal CliffAs tensions escalated following the release of preliminary vote results, the US President Barack Obama has asked the runoff presidential candidates to allow the process for investigating fraud claims to go forward.

In an unusual intervening in a foreign election, Obama has called both the candidates and insisted that US expect fraud allegations to be thoroughly reviewed.

The White House following a statement said Obama has ured the two candidates to seek a resolution that does not undermine the fragile national unity of Afghanistan.

The statement further added, “He also noted that there is no justification for resorting to violent or extra-constitutional means, which would result in the end of U.S. assistance to Afghanistan.”

The remarks by Obama comes as the US Secretary of State also expressed grave concerns regarding the suggestion of a parallel government in Afghanistan.

The suggestion was made by a prominent and influential Afghan politician Atta Mohammad Noor who is a close ally of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and current governor of northern Balkh province.

Abdullah on Tuesday also said he will declare victory, amid calls from some of his supporters for Abdullah to form a “parallel government.”

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Ghani secures lead in preliminary vote results from runoff election http://www.khaama.com/ghani-secures-lead-in-partial-vote-results-from-runoff-election-8275 http://www.khaama.com/ghani-secures-lead-in-partial-vote-results-from-runoff-election-8275#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 14:15:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36551 Read the full article...]]> Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai wins Afghan ElectionDr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has secured lead in preliminary vote results for runoff presidential election by securing 4,485,888 votes equivalent to 56.44 percent of total votes.

While Dr. Abdullah has secured 3,461,639 votes which is equivalent to 43.56 percent of the total votes.

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Monday released the preliminary vote results for the runoff election which was conducted on 14th June.

IEC chief, Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani released the preliminary vote results after almost four hours of delay.

Nuristani said around 8,109,403 people participated in runoff presidential election which consist of 62.37% male voters and 37.63% female voters.

He admitted technical problems and fraud in the second round of election and said a number of high level and low government officials including governors and government employees had interference in elections process.

Nuristani also insisted that the preliminary vote results may alter once all electoral complaints have been reviewed.

He said the final vote results for the runoff election is expected to be released on 22 July.

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Abdullah’s observers missing in first open review of election complaints http://www.khaama.com/abdullahs-observers-missing-in-first-open-review-of-election-complaints-8263 http://www.khaama.com/abdullahs-observers-missing-in-first-open-review-of-election-complaints-8263#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 06:05:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36485 Read the full article...]]> _74343368_021979822-1Presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s observers were not present in the first open review of complaints regarding the runoff presidential election.

Head of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), Abdul Satar Saadat said Sunday that the decisions of provincial election offices in northern provinces will be reviewed during the open session today.

Saadat said the observers of Dr. Abdullah is not present during the first open review of complaints.

He said the absence of Dr. Abdullah’s obervers in open review of compalaints means that they have withdrawn from their right for investigation of the complaints.

According to Saadat, more complaints have been received from northern Faryab and Balkh provinces of Afghanistan.

He said today’s open session will mostly review the decisions of provincial election offices in northern Afghanistan, based on the appeals of the candidates.

This comes as Dr. Abdullah Abdullah halted his ties with the Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission after accusing the two electoral bodies for being involved in fraud.

Abdullah recalled all his observers and said they will not accept the preliminary vote results which is expected to be announced on Monday.

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Negotiations continue between Abdullah and Ghani teams over election issues http://www.khaama.com/negotiations-continue-between-abdullah-and-ghani-teams-over-election-issues-8262 http://www.khaama.com/negotiations-continue-between-abdullah-and-ghani-teams-over-election-issues-8262#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 05:17:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36482 Read the full article...]]> afghanistanabdullahahmadzaiNegotiations among the team members of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai continues over election impasse.

Officials from the two electoral teams have said that the technical and political members of the two teams are engaged in negotiations.

The officials further added that audit and recount of votes along with the cleaning of fraudulent votes from clean votes along with the release of preliminary results on scheduled time are the main agendas of the meetings.

Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai said Monday that the preliminary vote results for the runoff vote should not be further delayed and must be releaed by independent election commission on Monday.

The partial results was due to be released by IEC last Wednesday; however, the election officials said the release has been delayed due to the audit and recount of votes in 1930 polling stations.

Ghani on Saturday welcomed the audit and recount of votes in 1930 polling stations, but he insisted on the release of partial results on Monday and said the people of Afghanistan have became frustrated with more delays.

He also warned that the deadlock over elections have incurred millions of dollars in loss to the economy of the country and various projects have been suspended or delayed.

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Abdullah and Ghani teams to hold talks on election impasse http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-and-ghani-teams-to-hold-talks-on-election-impasse-6348 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-and-ghani-teams-to-hold-talks-on-election-impasse-6348#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 06:36:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36415 Read the full article...]]> Ghani and AbdullahThe electoral team members of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai are due to meet to discuss the election impasse.

According to reports, the meeting between the two sides has been arranged with the mediation of first vice president Mohammad Younus Qanooni.

The main focus of the meeting will be to discuss the steps forward in a bid to resolve the current deadlock.

A member of Dr. Ghani’s electoral team also rejected the rumours that the two presidential contenders will reach to an agreement on a political deal to resolve the issue.

He said Dr. Ghani has already rejected to form a coalition government and has always emphasized on national partnership.

Mujib-ur-Rehman, a member of Dr. Abdullah’s team also rejected negotiations regarding any political settlement and said the discussions have so far have only been focused on electoral fraud and cleaning of fake votes from clean vote.

Rehman further added that Dr. Abdullah’s team will welcome any step that helps to resolve the current political impasse.

The meeting between the team’s of the two presidential contenders comes as Dr. Abdullah has halted his ties with the Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.

Abdullah has said that his demands for his return to election process have not been met and accused the electoral bodies for being involved in mass fraud during the runoff election.

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UNAMA welcomes additional audit of polling stations in runoff election http://www.khaama.com/unama-welcomes-additional-audit-of-polling-stations-in-runoff-election-6342 http://www.khaama.com/unama-welcomes-additional-audit-of-polling-stations-in-runoff-election-6342#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:30:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36396 Read the full article...]]> downloadThe United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMA) welcomed the decision by Independent Election Commission (IEC) for the additional audit of a number of polling stations in runoff presidential election.

“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the decision of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to launch an additional, ongoing audit of a number of polling stations in the second round of the Presidential election in which the total number of ballots cast was 599 or higher,” UNAMA said following a statement.

The statement further added, “UNAMA encourages the IEC to implement further measures that could enhance the transparency, neutrality and impartiality of the electoral process, and separate and reject fraudulent ballots from valid votes.”

This comes as the IEC officials said Wednesday that the release of preliminary vote results for the runoff presidential election has been delayed to ensure transparency in vote counting process.

IEC chief, Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, said the preliminary results are expected to be released on coming Monday.

In the meantime, the UN mission in Afghanistan said welcomes the IEC’s re-scheduling of the announcement of the second round’s preliminary results to Monday, 7 July.

“In line with the Security Council’s presidential statement adopted after its meeting on Afghanistan on 25 June, UNAMA looks forward to the conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the relevant laws and mandates of the electoral institutions and the orderly transition to a new administration,” the statement said.

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The absolute winner of 2014 Afghan elections http://www.khaama.com/the-absolute-winner-of-2014-afghan-elections-6339 http://www.khaama.com/the-absolute-winner-of-2014-afghan-elections-6339#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:22:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36364 Read the full article...]]> Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai wins Afghan ElectionJune 14th marked another day in the history of Afghanistan, millions of Afghans across the country voted to institutionalize democracy. This has been the first ever exercise of the election runoff in the history of the country. Despite security threats, attempts and attacks by the insurgents and terrorists, public participation in the election presumably indicate their commitment to democracy and their enthusiasm for a first ever peaceful transition of political power from one elected president to another elected president. Every patriot Afghan truly and heartily appreciates the measures taken by the security forces. Along with their security forces, many Afghans sacrificed their lives for a better future. On the Election Day, the role of local media in covering the election process has been extraordinarily valuable, but role of some media and their impartiality, observing and informing the public is highly questioned. However, there was corruption, fraud and irregularities, but the complaints have been registered with the Independent Election Complaint Commission (IECC) and it is expected that the commission should address all the concerns.

Sacrifice for freedom:

Afghan security forces interrupted tens of insurgents and terrorists attempts, but still they were able to carry 150 attacks across the country. At least 73 Afghans and foreign fighters were killed by the ANSF during their responsive and clear out operations. During the Election Day, people experienced two types of security violence: attacks by insurgents and attacks by warlords and armed supporters of the candidates. More than 50 people, including civilians and security forces martyred and around 100 Afghans were wounded during the Election Day. As a punishment, the insurgents cut fingers of 11 innocent voters. Freedom does not come free and they have paid the cost for their and our freedom. Which will be remembered forever.

Controversy about the turnout:

While it is not a final, clean and exact figures, but according to Dr. Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, chairman the IEC around 7 million voters cast their votes. This shows of nearly 58% of the 12 million eligible voters’ turnout. Dr. Nuristani announced that 37% female and 62% male took part in the elections. However, the figures are not final yet, but Dr. Abdullah Abdullah a leading candidate in the first round of the elections opposed the IEC assessment, boycotted observation of the counting process, and asked for an immediate halt of the process. He claims that the turnout in the second round was significantly lower than the first round. Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai seems happy about the turnout and he agreed with the IEC assessment of high turnouts. It is still early to have a concrete answer until all the results from more than 6000 are counted and only the time can clarify the exact number of turnouts.

Big fear of unforeseen changes in the estimated results of the election has extremely worried Abdullah and before any announcement, he has cut off ties with the election commissions and pulled his observers from all the sites. He blamed President Hamid Karzai for mass fraud and demanded a freeze on vote counting. One of the conditions of Abdullah is suspension of IEC’s Secretariat Chief Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail, who was blamed for election frauds, but Dr. Yousuf Nuristani rejected all accusation against Mr. Amarkhail and continued the process according to the electoral schedule. Finally, Mr. Amarikhail resigned and one condition of Dr. Abdullah met, but still he has not agreed and he has extended his doubts and conditions. The U.N, U.S. and other westerner allies of Afghanistan also backed the IEC decision and they said that the constitutional institutions and their decision must be respected. However, the latest protest and fear of major crisis, has worried the international community. Because of threats and pressure finally the partial election results announcement is delayed.

Role of local media:

Initial assessment of the IEC, based on the recommendation of Afghan security institutions showed that 6365 polling centers (PCs) to be open, 67 PCs less than the first round of elections. The PCs were reduced based on the security assessment and high level of threat. Yet there are arguments about the exact figures of the open PCs and Dr. Abdullah team claims that the figure presented by the IEC is different from reality. The voting results from local media are also varying. While the contribution of the media is highly appreciated by many Afghans, but during the Election Day, some local media kept the nation in darkness, they have not reported the reality form the ground, and they have covered the elections in a precise propagating style.

Some media outlets, that were reporting all the great news from some polling centers, just after the Election Day the same outlets, reported mass fraud in the same place. This has seriously undermined the impartiality of these media outlets. Public was looking at the media as an independent observer institution of the election process. However, the controversial and inaccurate report by some privet media in Afghanistan has alarmed the nation that like many other institutions, some free media in Afghanistan is also very fraudulent. As a protest and reaction, some Afghans posted messages on their social media and urged people to boycott watching and listening some media outlets. Some Afghan journalists are also widely criticized by public for provoking the nation for instability and war.

Lessons and learned:

Several small and some major technical and logistical shortcomings, which could have been avoided, repeated in the second round of elections as well. Clearly that the IEC could not deliver its promise. Hundreds of voting centers faced a shortage of ballot papers, which were a main concern and an issue in the first round of the elections. The PCs was not enough, however voters lined up, but in some part of the country because of the hot weather and security threat people could not stay in the long lines and some returned without being able to use their votes. The quality of the ink was also an issue and in some PCs, some people were able to vote twice. IEC women staff was significantly low and it was one of the challenges for the women, who are not allowed to vote together with men, but only in a spate area. Therefore, it evidently shows the negligence and ignorance of IEC. If they were not able to overcome the challenges, they should have informed the nation before the election. If they were able to hold a better election and they did not do their job, now they have to be accountable for the nation and they will be responsible for any consequence.

Role of social media and IT:

It has proven in Afghanistan that the digital tools and social media is a significant tool for the election observations. Thousands of observers and representatives have observed the process. This time many observers have been trained and equipped with the smart phones to the collect evidence of fraud and election violations. The supporters and observers of both candidates have collected hundreds of visual evidence. Social media were highly used by the supporter of both candidates prior, during and after the Election Day. It was also a tool for whistle-blowing and disclosure. What if the UN becomes against freedom of expression? Against all principles of freedom of expressions the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján KubišStands warned about the use of social media and this has given government a fake legitimacy to censor and threat social media users.

Stands of the international community:

14th of April is celebrated as a mothers’ day in Afghanistan. During that day, kids bring gifts for their mother, but this time, many mothers casted their vote for the future of their kids and many Afghans called the day a double celebration, it was truly a special day, mixed of celebrations. Using different terms, many leaders congratulated Afghans and welcomed the turnout and exercise of the process. Here are some examples of messages of key leaders about election runoff.

  • President Karzai: Another major step towards a prosperous future
  • The UN: A major achievement in the country’s historic democratic transition
  • White house: A significant step forward on Afghanistan’s democratic path
  • NATO: Another historic day for Afghanistan

In addition, the EU election observer congratulated Afghans for their participation in the election runoff. Now, the country is in a crisis, which has worried these actors, so we may witness a shift in their stands, but their initial position was very clear and they congratulated Afghans for another major step.

A message to friends and enemies:

However, the methods, procedures and ways of practicing election can be debated. Nevertheless, holding the second round of the election at this very critical point and the turn of people during the election runoff had strong messages, both for the friends and for enemies of Afghanistan. To their partners and allies, it proves that the investment made in the last one decade is valued and it has not wasted at all. Therefore, by taking part in the process public showed to their enemies that they are ready to assume responsibilities in every walk of life. It once again shows that Afghans are not afraid of threats and force and they are ready for any kind of sacrifice for their freedom. ANSF has also demonstrated success of security transition from NATO led mission, which is in its fifth and last phase.

Frightening political game:

Acceptance of the election results by candidates was one of the major concerns. The candidates were repeatedly reminded about the agendas of the current administration and foreign intelligence, particularly the ISI, who trays to sabotage the process and prolong the current administration. It is a fact that most of the IEC and ECC members have never been independent and they have been appointed in a compromise between the government and opposition political elites. Nevertheless, the latest accusation of the IEC’s Secretariat Chief Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail and release of the evidence against him has to be fully investigated. Both camps may release more evidence of corruption against each other, but Afghans should be wise and do not pre-judge anything before a throughout investigation. Meanwhile, both parties must not forget that there are other parties involved, who try to inflame the crisis and disputes.

If the candidates do not realize the sensitivity of the situation and if they take any minor wrong step, Afghanistan will definitely go to deeper crisis and possibly to an ethnic and civil war again. The current situation is seen as an excellent opportunity for the enemies to facilitate environment for a civil war and a possible partition of the country. Scenarios such as interim and transitional government, changing the constitution and a collation government with the Taliban has already discussed among political elites. Prolonging election crisis is not in the interest of many actors, including the United States. Any delay in the election results and crisis can further challenge presence and legitimacy of the U.S. military in Afghanistan post 2014.

The winner of elections:

The election is over, but not the process and its now at a crucial stage. The two electoral bodies, the Independent Elections Commission and the Independent Complaints Commissions are responsible for an effective, transparent and impartial performance during the process. They should realize that the public is closely watching the process, which makes the destiny of Afghanistan and its people. The voters also have expectation from the two candidates to address election related issues through the electoral bodies and legitimate institutions and avoid any action, which can harm the emotion of millions voters, who have voted with lots of hopes, courage and at great risks. The candidates should closely work for a political solution, but solutions must not undermine the legal and constitutional process and it should not compromise justice and the rights of the public. Winning or losing in any, election is an essential part of the process. While the time will determine the winner and loser between these two candidates, but one thing is already clear that Afghans have won by saying NO to terrorism and YES to freedom.

Shafiq photoMohammad Shafiq Hamdam is social activist for promoting peace, justice and human rights. He is founder and Chairman of Afghan Anti-Corruption Network, a leading network of civil society organizations fighting corruption. He can be reached at @shafiqhamdam 

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Preliminary vote results for runoff election to be released on Monday http://www.khaama.com/preliminary-vote-results-for-runoff-election-to-be-released-on-monday-6335 http://www.khaama.com/preliminary-vote-results-for-runoff-election-to-be-released-on-monday-6335#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:05:25 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36344 Read the full article...]]> nuristaniThe preliminary vote results for the runoff presidential election will be released on coming Monday, the officials said.

Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, the Independent Election Commission Chief, said the preliminary vote results have been delayed due to the audit of vote in certain polling stations.

Nuristani further added that votes in 1930 polling stations across the country will be audited by election commission.

The preliminary vote results for the runoff presidential election was due to be released today as per the electoral calendar.

The Independent Election Commission also released a statement today, saying, “The second round of audits, which began yesterday (1 July), is articulated in IEC Decision 24‐1393, according to which, results from any polling station in which the total number of ballots cast is 599 or higher is subject to audit. Decision 24‐1393 was adopted on 29 June as an extraordinary measure, enabling the IEC to examine ballots more closely and to better ensure the accuracy of the results.”

The statement furhter added, “Effectively, there will be 1,930 audits conducted across 30 provinces of Afghanistan. To date, 724 audits (more than 37.5%) are complete and the IEC expects to announce preliminary results till next Monday 7th July.”

IEC said it remains committed to separate valid from invalid votes and preserving the integrity of the electoral process.

The final election results should be announced on 22 July, 2014, the statement added.

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Mobile Phones: Solution for fraud in Afghan elections http://www.khaama.com/mobile-phones-solution-for-fraud-in-afghan-elections-2694 http://www.khaama.com/mobile-phones-solution-for-fraud-in-afghan-elections-2694#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 23:53:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36317 Read the full article...]]> imageSince the fall of the Taliban in November 2001, Afghanistan has held three rounds of presidential elections. All these three races have had their share of problems. To name a few, fraud, ballot stuffing, lack of institutions, proper electoral laws, and security are known to have been the main problems in these elections. In 2004, President Hamid Karzai finished well ahead of his rival, the then former Education Minister, and now President Karzai’s Deputy Muhammad Yunus Qanooni with 55.4 percent of the vote. Mr. Qanooni rejected the results, accusing the Karzai team of fraud. Then, in 2009 presidential election, known as the most contentious election, incumbent Hamid Karzai was declared the winner for another term in office after canceling the second round of voting. Karzia’s main rival, Abdullah Abdullah alleged “widespread rigging” by the Karzai campaign and the Independent Election Commission. Today, we are witnessing a similar situation. The pattern of fraud allegations continues as Abdullah Abdullah, one of the top two candidates, accuses a range of officials of rigging the vote against him. He vows deadlock, and promises that he will not accept the results. Such problems in the Afghan presidential elections beg questions: how can we avoid them in the future?

Last week at an event in Washington, DC, Amirzai Sagin – Afghan Minister of Communications and Information Technology – said that in the last 12 years Afghanistan has come a long way in terms of developing the ICT sector (Information and Communications Technology). Today, there are five major telecom companies, and approximately 60 internet providing companies operating in Afghanistan. More than 90 percent of the Afghan population has access to mobile services, and 22 million of them own at least one mobile phone. The number of internet users continues to increase as the cost of internet has decreased from $1,000/mb in 2002 to $22/mb today. In addition, the Ministry has started issuing National Electronic IDs, which is a centralized system for avoiding fraud. At the end of his keynote address, the Minister said something very important that Afghanistan has the capacity to carry out the next presidential election, which will be in five years, via mobile phones. Could ICT really change the way Afghans vote?

Mobile phones are already a trusted medium for our personal information and financial transactions. We hold smart phones and gadgets that carry our emails, personal text messages, photos, contacts, and location. Most importantly, mobiles are used to transfer money. In the last few years money services provided by mobile carriers have been significantly growing in Afghanistan. All five mobile operating companies (Etisalat, MTN, AWCC, AfTel, and Roshan) are offering their own mobile money product. In 2008 Roshan began the use of the M-PAISA mobile money service. These products include mobile wallet technology, where customers can store their money digitally as opposed to using cash. Roshan’s M-PAISA operates in 6 major cities with 17,000 active users. The users portfolio is about to reach $79.5 million by the end of 2014. Most Afghans receive their monthly salary through their mobile phones, and relatives send money via phone from one province to another. Mobile phones are a big part of everyone’s daily life now, so why not make it part of the electoral process as well.

A number of countries have introduced mobile voting as an option for casting votes together with traditional paper ballots. Estonia has allowed e-voting since 2005. Independent security audits have found the Estonian system effective and reliable. India, the world’s largest democracy, has been a pioneer in introducing new and innovative technologies in casting votes. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are compact and portable briefcase-sized voting machines that are built to withstand India’s diverse and sometimes harsh climate. Its most impressive feature is its price tag; each EVM costs 10,500 Indian rupees or about $175. Switzerland is yet another country that has actively implemented electronic voting since 2006. The evidence from Zurich shows that e-voting might serve as a powerful tool to augment the participation rate, and the quality of voting. The system cost $2.1 million to develop, and it reoccurs operational costs of about $0.4 million a year, which is approximately $0.5 per vote.

Perhaps, mobile phones could be a solution for electoral problems in Afghanistan. Going mobile is likely to reduce the cost of elections. The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan spends a large amount of money on voting booth installations around the country, and transportation of sensitive material (ballots, ink, boxes, etc.) by air, land and in some instances with the help of donkeys. Spending money on such activities won’t be necessary if the electoral process goes mobile. Going mobile will also help eliminate fraud, or at least reduce it to some extent. There will be no ballot stuffing, and the results will be automatically available for public at the end of the day. Most importantly, going mobile will help restore Afghans confidence in the system. It will give the future president of Afghanistan a clear mandate and legitimacy among all Afghans.

Author’s bio
Abid Amiri -: I have an M.A. degree in International Development (Concentration on South-Central Asia) from The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. I earned a double bachelor’s degree in Economics and Global Studies from St. Lawrence University. I have worked at American Councils for International Education as a program associate in Washington, DC, and as a program manager in their Kabul office. My work on unemployment in Afghanistan is published in the first issue of Global Journal and was presented at the 2010 Northeastern Economic Annual Conference in New York City. In addition, my research papers about Muslim-Americans’ representation in the media, and Road Reconstruction in Post-Conflict Afghanistan are published in Islam and Muslim Societies Journal, and International Affairs Review.

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Preliminary vote results for runnoff election delayed http://www.khaama.com/preliminary-vote-results-for-runnoff-election-delayed-1632 http://www.khaama.com/preliminary-vote-results-for-runnoff-election-delayed-1632#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 11:12:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36303 Read the full article...]]> imageThe release of preliminary vote results for runoff election has been delayed, the election commission officials said.

The independent election commission (IEC) was due to release the preliminary results on 2nd July. However, the officials have said that the decision has been gaken to ensure transparency in election process.

The officials further added that th election commission will recount the suspicious votes, which is one of the main results for delaying the release of preliminary results.

The runoff presidential election was organized between Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on 14th June.

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Talks in progress to bring back Dr. Abdullah in election process http://www.khaama.com/talks-in-progress-to-bring-back-dr-abdullah-in-election-process-6328 http://www.khaama.com/talks-in-progress-to-bring-back-dr-abdullah-in-election-process-6328#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:37:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36275 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah AbdullahThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials said Monday that negotiations are in progress to bring back Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in election process.

IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, said the leadership of election commission met with President Hamid Karzai and his vice presidents to discuss the return of Dr. Abdullah to election process.

Noor further added that political steps have also been taken in this regard by the leadership of election commission.

This comes as Abdullah accused the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) for not being impartial in election.

Abdullah announced Sunday that his team will not accept the decisions of the two electoral bodies after this which prompted concerns that his decision to halt ties with electoral bodies will possibly taken the country towards a crisis.

He demanded to organize a third round election in three eastern provinces; however, election commission officials have said that a third round is against the law.

In the meantime, the election commission said the preliminary vote results will be announced on 2nd July despite political pressures.

Noor said the election commission is expecting that issue is resolved as soon as possible and Dr. Abdullah return back to election process along with his team.

He also added that the election commission is prepared to answer the demands of Dr. Abdullah but he insisted that such demands should have a legal basis.

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Abdullah’s team once again boycott election results http://www.khaama.com/abdullahs-team-once-again-boycott-election-results-6316 http://www.khaama.com/abdullahs-team-once-again-boycott-election-results-6316#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 13:12:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36234 Read the full article...]]> news106enPresidential runner, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral team, once again boycotted the election results from June 14th runoff vote.

Officials from Abdullah’s team said Sunday that they are boycotting the runoff vote results as the electoral bodies have not considered their conditions so that they return back to election process.

Baryalai Arsalaye, head of Dr. Abdullah’s electoral team, said they will not accpet any outcome or decision by electoral bodies after and warned that President Karzai would be responsible for any consequences.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Saturday that the demands of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to return back to election process have been met; however, Mr. Arsalaye said their demands have been rejected by IEC.

Rasa said IEC has rejected to organize third round election in areas where massive fraud has taken place, but he said the election commission has responded this demanded negatively.

He accused the Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints for being involved in electoral fraud and said the two commissions have continued to their activity in their absence.

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Abdullah claims 2.5 million fraudulent votes casted in runoff election http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-claims-2-5-million-fraudulent-votes-casted-in-runoff-election-6308 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-claims-2-5-million-fraudulent-votes-casted-in-runoff-election-6308#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 17:40:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36186 Read the full article...]]> abdullahDr. Abdullah Abdullah, presidential contender in the secod round of election, has claimed that over 2.5 million fraudulent votes have been casted in runoff election.

Abdullah was speaking during a gathering attended by tribal elders from southern Kandahar and Helmand and eastern Nangarhar, Paktia and Paktika provinces.

He also claimed that the level of fraud was considerably higher than the first round of election and warned that vote rigging has put the stability of the country at risk.

Abdullah also blamed Karzai for remaining reckless regarding the massive fraud and said his team will publish further eviodences regarding the involvement of government officials in electoral fraud.

In the meantime, Gul Agha Sherzai, presidential contender in the first round of election, accused the presidential palace for orchestrating fraud in election process.

Sherzai claimed that Dr. Abdullah is the current president of Afghanistan and warned that they will take any action including use of force to defend from their votes.

He also warned that there will be no breakthrough in current political impasse until president Karzai leaves the ARG presidential palace.

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UN mission in Afghanistan supports accountability of election officials http://www.khaama.com/un-mission-in-afghanistan-supports-accountability-of-election-officials-6302 http://www.khaama.com/un-mission-in-afghanistan-supports-accountability-of-election-officials-6302#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 10:59:38 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36167 Read the full article...]]> Ziaulhaq AmarkhilThe UN mission in Afghanistan welcomed the announcement by Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) regarding the adjudication of allegations against the former chief electoral officer Ziaulhaq Amarkhil.

“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) takes note of today’s Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) press conference, notably statements concerning the adjudication of allegations against the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) former Chief Electoral Officer,” UNAMA said following a statement.

The statement further added that UNAMA has consistently emphasized to all Afghan stakeholders – including the Presidential candidates, election management bodies, state institutions and authorities and the public – its support for accountability and due process.

“The Mission has always supported the need for both the IEC and IECC to maintain strict impartiality and to uphold the highest standards of integrity, given their key role in Afghanistan’s historic political transition, as well as the need for full accountability and impartiality of its officials in carrying out their work,” the statement added.

UNAMA insisted that, “No individual is above the law. On the other hand, no one can be considered or proclaimed guilty without firm evidence and due process.”

The Mission urged that in the case that there is evidence documenting unlawful activities by any individual, then such evidence should be investigated and adjudicated by the respective Afghan institutions and authorities in accordance with the laws of the country.

This comes as IECC spokesman, Nader Mohsini, said Saturday that the electoral complaints commission has launched an investigation regarding the audio tape of election officials who were accused of mass electoral fraud.

Mohsini further added that the investigation will reveal the source of the audio tape and authenticity of the recordings will also be confirmed.

The decision by electoral complaints commission was also welcomed by electoral team of Abdullah Abdullah who had published the audio recordings.

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Swearing-in ceremony for next Afghan president on 2nd August, Karzai assures http://www.khaama.com/swearing-in-ceremony-for-next-afghan-president-on-2nd-august-karzai-assures-6285 http://www.khaama.com/swearing-in-ceremony-for-next-afghan-president-on-2nd-august-karzai-assures-6285#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:59:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36112 Read the full article...]]> karzaiAfghan President Hamid Karzai has assured that the swearing-in ceremony for the next president of the country will be organized on 2nd August.

President Karzai on Thursday met with the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins in capital Kabul.

Karzai discussed the runoff election, Afghan peace process and the current regional situation with the US special envoy, the presidential palace said following a statement.

Karzai said the people of Afghanistan have taken an important step towards their national obligation by vastly participating in elections process.

Dobbins also praised the Afghan people for their wide participation in runoff election.

He also welcomed the appointment of delegations by Afghanistan and Pakistan for the implementation of peace process and hailed Afghan government’s decision in this regard.

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Hard grab of power or hard hit of drop http://www.khaama.com/hard-grab-of-power-or-hard-hit-of-drop-6283 http://www.khaama.com/hard-grab-of-power-or-hard-hit-of-drop-6283#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 10:49:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36102 Read the full article...]]> By Walid Tamim

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai wins Afghan ElectionAfghanistan experienced a run off for the first time, two strong rivals Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, highly educated Afghan, former Finance Minister, World Bank executive employee along with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Islamic movement member of Jamyat, former foreign minister were the front runners on June 14 runoff election in Afghanistan.

Abdullah got 45% of votes at the first round of election, while Dr. Ashraf Ghani secured 31.6%, Dr. Ghani came second and that was merely because of 7 other candidates had divided the votes for him.

Dr. Ghani taking the chance flourished his campaigning strategy focusing more on villages, religious leaders decrees (fitwas), youths, particularly urged Pashtons who are reluctant to take part in election to vote for his team.

He used experience of management to create a call center fully equipped and hired reliable observers mobilized them with digital cameras to catch fraud and observe responsibly.

First time he spread his senior team members, supporters and his running mate across the country to every village urging people to vote for him and his team.

While Dr. Abdullah was inebriated feeling as a winner of first round and hardly campaigned widely unlike he only relied on some coalition formation of some tribal leaders. He was challenge several times to have LIVE TV debates on economic plans, but he disrespectfully escaped and walked away from all TV debates.

It is an accepted trend, losing candidates claim fraud in order to justify their loss. Any illegal act of propaganda, destabilization and chaos by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah team members will deprecate more supports for him.

His two strong allegations such as why people in south voted in larger number in the second round and suspension of a senior member of IEC could have been investigated thoroughly through assigned committees not by his meager advisors.

Upon the announcement of result, he has to accept it based on the constitution law and the assigned committees even if he is losing.

So far, it is been very naïve while he was leading, everything was happy-happy and the system is accurate, but if he fails to earn more votes, he accused the process for systematic fraud.

Dr. Abdullah is a 3rd time failed candidate, he has a lot of lessons learned and can support someone genuine in the future. Meanwhile, he has to congratulate Dr. Ghani for his clean win and support him in rebuilding a peaceful Afghanistan.

Recent reactions of Dr. Abdullah prior to the results of the election and any official signs of fraud, he announced boycott with Independent Election Committee and asked for immediate stop of vote counts, this was more like “shooting yourself in the foot” and was called “unfortunate decision” by UN and other special representatives in Afghanistan.

Afterward, he urged his supporters to make relay with million participants that turn out to be only a few hundred people, including children, homeless addicts and jobless youth who were on daily wage by Dr. Abdullah team.

The audio released by Dr. Abdullah’s camp despite of this discrepancy and violation of constitution law about privacy of telephonic conversations of Afghanistan citizens (article 37, Afghan constitution), it is already called disapproved because of the quality of voice and fabrication of the audio.

“Ghiasi, of Kabul residence says, it is more like someone is sinking and trying to grab anything to survive.” Why Dr. Abdullah thinks it is his end of his life? This question is raised among Afghans in social media and social events lately. It is no doubt after 9/11 and US invasion of Afghanistan the northern alliance benefited because of their armed support to US army and to President Karzai who was descended and installed by US as the head of interim government of Afghanistan.

Northern Alliance members were levying by taking senior ministerial posts and an imbalance power sharing at the top to bottom level of Afghan government including illiterate ministers. In last 13 years this remained more and less the same and Northern alliance had a strong influence in decisions made by president Karzai.

The scenario changes now as Afghanistan has fully supported and equipped army (ANA) and Police (ANP). It seems there is no need for any militia backing of northern alliance anymore and this paved the way toward a new Afghanistan where people will vote for merits and quality.

The fear comes if they are not a serious share holder of power; they might go under trial for the civil war human right violation charges in 1990s, corruption charges afterward, opium business and many more illegal tendencies of the northern alliance members while serving at top level ministerial posts.

Dr. Abdullah is fighting on front-end to save guard the interests of a large number of warlords who have fueled his entire campaigns in the last three failed candidacy attempts. Sudden death of Marshal Qasim Fahim, late vice president of Karzai created a huge gap in unifying the northern alliance team members who are now under several fractions, some support long term stability of Afghanistan and some support short terms interests of a few members.

One thing is cleared for Dr. Abdullah that Dr. Ghani has won the 2nd round election with remarkable difference in number of votes that hailed him as the new elected president, while Dr. Abdullah is becoming a strong opposition for the coming government he will challenge many decision of Dr. Ghani’s government.

No, doubt if he tries to pave way for an lawlessness in major cities of Afghanistan, it will be a shoot back neither serving him nor Dr. Ghani but Taliban will take the advantage of the situation pushing toward Kabul and they will take everything as granted.

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Afghan intelligence rejects political intervention in elections http://www.khaama.com/afghan-intelligence-rejects-political-intervention-in-elections-6275 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-intelligence-rejects-political-intervention-in-elections-6275#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:27:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36073 Read the full article...]]> 1378022_535384483215492_1142417057_n (1)The Afghanistan national directorate of security (NDS) said Wednesday that the Afghan intelligence did not have any political intervention in elections process.

“NDS did not have or will have any political intervention in the elections,” NDS said following a statement.

The statement further added that NDS rejects the release of any government data to anyone outside its regular chain of reporting.

The national directorate of security also added that the impartiality of the Afghan intelligence is acknowledged by all citizens of Afghanistan.

“NDS strongly condemns the unfair and unjust blaming of the security institutions of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, who are in the first line to defend the people of Afghanistan,” the statement said.

The statement also added, “During the First and Second rounds of Presidential Elections in the past two months, Afghanistan National Directorate of Security (NDS), as the country’s responsible organization, along with other security institutions has accomplished its mission with bravery, honesty and impartiality,” the statement by NDS said.

The Afghan intelligence operatives have managed to disrupt, dismantle and eliminate some of the most dangerous terrorist networks who were planning to disrupt elections, NDS said.

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Ghani asks Abdullah to respect the rule of law and will of people http://www.khaama.com/ghani-asks-abdullah-to-respect-the-rule-of-law-and-will-of-people-6272 http://www.khaama.com/ghani-asks-abdullah-to-respect-the-rule-of-law-and-will-of-people-6272#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:02:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36064 Read the full article...]]> Ashraf Ghani AhmadzaiDr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, presidential contender in the second round of election, asked Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to respect the rule of law and will of the people.

Ghani called on electoral bodies to release the results for the runoff vote as scheduled and said his team will wait for the end result.

He rejected all fraud allegations as baseless and said his team campaigned hard for every single vote and vowed to protect each and every vote.

Ghani added that his team remained silent and prevented from predicting results in a bid to respect the electoral bodies.

He said Abdullah team’s decision to boycott elections shows their defeat and demanded that Abdullah’s team should give clarification on how do they know his team got an extra one million votes.

Ghani said, “We reached our hand to Abdullah before the election to pledge with us to renounce fraud. We never had a reply. But we showed our commitment.”

He reiterated that protection of all clean votes is their basic right and warned that his team will not be intimidated by people who are threatening them.

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UNAMA facilitates meeting between Abdullah and election commission http://www.khaama.com/unama-facilitates-meeting-between-abdullah-and-election-commission-6256 http://www.khaama.com/unama-facilitates-meeting-between-abdullah-and-election-commission-6256#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:02:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36007 Read the full article...]]> abdullah meets nuristaniThe Independent Election Commission and Presidential Candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met last night in an encounter facilitated by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

UNAMA following a statement said, the meeting allowed for an exchange of views and included all of the Commissioners and Dr. Abdullah and his electoral advisers.

The statement furhter added that the UN Mission has been encouraging the Presidential candidates to fully engage in the electoral process and cooperate with each other and with the electoral institutions as they undertake their mandated roles.

UNAMA said it will continue to support the electoral process that remains fully in the hands of Afghan electoral institutions and stakeholders and remains their sole responsibility.

Abdullah halted his all ties with the Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission after accusing the two electoral bodies for being involved in electoral fraud.

Abdullah had also demanded to suspend chief electoral officer Ziaulhaq Amarkhil who stepped down on Monday.

Amarkhil was accused by Abdullah for industrial scale fraud in favor of his rival Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

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Election Commission office reopened in Kunduz province http://www.khaama.com/election-commission-office-reopened-in-kunduz-province-6254 http://www.khaama.com/election-commission-office-reopened-in-kunduz-province-6254#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:06:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=36000 Read the full article...]]> election office kunduz reopenedThe provincial election commission office in northern Kunduz province was re-opened, local officials said Tuesday.

Provincial police spokesman, Syed Sarwar Hussaini said the provincial election commission office has been re-opened with strict security measures.

Amir Hamza, head of the IEC office in Kunduz province earlier said the office was closed after they received numerous security threats during the recent days.

local security officials have said dismissed that the security issues are threatening the election office in Kunduz province.

This comes as local security officials earlier dismissed that the security issues are threatening the election office in Kunduz province.

Kunduz is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in its various districts.

Heavy clashes were also reported among the Taliban militants and police forces in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province on Monday which left several Taliban militants killed or injured.

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Ghani’s team seeks clarification on Ziaulhaq Amarkhil’s audio tape http://www.khaama.com/ghanis-team-seeks-clarification-on-ziaulhaq-amarkhils-audio-tape-6253 http://www.khaama.com/ghanis-team-seeks-clarification-on-ziaulhaq-amarkhils-audio-tape-6253#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 08:56:39 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35996 Read the full article...]]> ziaulhaq amarkhil audioDr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s electoral team has demanded an explanation from Abdullah Abdullah’s team regarding the audio tape which alleges that Ziaulhaq Amarkhil was involved in industrial scale fraud in runoff vote.

Ghani’s electoral team said the release of the audio tape was unlawful and against the article 37 and the constitution.

They also asked Abdullah’s team to provide full explanation of how they obtained the audio tape.

In the meantime, a member of Dr. Ghani’s team, Hamidullah Farooq said Abdullah’s team was looking to disrupt and create confustion among the people.

Ziaulhaq Amarkhil resigned from his position as chief electoral officer a day after Abdullah’s team published an audio tape and accused Amarkhil for working in favor of Abdullah’s rival.

The authenticity of the video tape has not been independently confirmed so far; however, Amarkhil rejected that the voice in audio tape does not belong to him.

Amarkhil also said he has resigned from his position in a bid to the end the current political impasse.

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Ghani praises Amarkhil’s decision to step down as courageous http://www.khaama.com/ghani-praises-amarkhils-decision-to-step-down-as-courageous-6250 http://www.khaama.com/ghani-praises-amarkhils-decision-to-step-down-as-courageous-6250#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 06:54:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35983 Read the full article...]]> Ziaulhaq AmarkhilDr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, presidential contender in the second round of election, praised chief electoral officer Ziaulhaq Amarkhil’s decision to step down.

Ghani said, “We praise Mr. Amarkhiel’s courageous decision to step down for the sake of “national interests” of our country. Others should follow suit!”

He expressed hope that Dr. abdullah and his team would re-enter and rejoin election process after the resignation of Amarkhil.

“Dr.Abdullah wanted Amarkhiel to leave the office, he resigned. Now we hope Abdullah & his team would re-enter & rejoin the election process,” he said.

Ghani also insisted that unnecessary demands from the election commission and further pressure on election bodies are extremly unhelpful.

He warned that such demands and pressure could take the situation into more crisis.

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UNAMA acknowledges resignation of Ziaulhaq Amarkhil http://www.khaama.com/unama-acknowledges-resignation-of-ziaulhaq-amarkhil-6245 http://www.khaama.com/unama-acknowledges-resignation-of-ziaulhaq-amarkhil-6245#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:17:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35965 Read the full article...]]> LegacyThe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) acknowledged the resignation of the chief electoral officer, the Head of the Secretariat of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Ziaulhaq Amarkhil.

“UNAMA recognizes the resignation as a step that helps protect Afghanistan’s historic political transition and contributes to an orderly and timely electoral process under the country’s legal and institutional framework and through its mandated electoral institutions and their procedures,” UNAMA said following a statement.

The statement further added, “The Mission also recognizes with appreciation that the IEC Secretariat head’s decision puts national interests ahead of personal interests and sought to remove any cause of distrust in the electoral process.”

“UNAMA notes that Mr. Amarkhil’s long professional experience helped ensure that, during his tenure as the head of the IEC Secretariat, preparations for Afghanistan’s historic presidential election were better managed and more advanced than those previously,” the statement said, adding that, “The improved technical quality of the preparations for these polls has been recognized by domestic and international observer groups.”

UNAMA also called on the Presidential candidates to fully re-enter the electoral process, cooperate with the electoral institutions and respect their decisions.

UNAMA said it will continue to support the Afghan-owned and -led electoral process, part of the democratic process chosen by the Afghan people as the means to establish a new and legitimate Government that will reflect the will of the majority of participating Afghan voters.

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Abdullah welcomes Ziaulhaq Amarkhil’s resignation http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-welcomes-ziaulhaq-amarkhils-resignation-6244 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-welcomes-ziaulhaq-amarkhils-resignation-6244#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:26:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35962 Read the full article...]]> abdullahDr. Abdullah Abdullah welcomed the resignation by Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, the secretariat chief of the independent election commission of Afghanistan (IEC).

Abdullah said the suspension of Amarkhil from his position as IEC secretariat chief, was one of his conditions to return back to electoral process.

He was speaking during a press conference shortly after Ziaulhaq Amarkhil announced his resignation; however, he did not say if Amarkhil’s resignation will pave the way for his return to the election process.

Abdullah halted his ties with the election bodies in Afghanistan and accused Amarkhil for industrial scale fraud in runoff vote.

He demanded immediate suspension of Amarkhil’s job and asked the election commission to clarify regarding the participation of 7 million people in runoff vote which he claims is lower.

The electoral team of Abdullah on Sunday also broadcasted an audio tape which they claim belongs to Amarkhil and alleged him of working in favor of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

In the meantime, Abdullah said he will hold talks with the United Nations and election commission regarding the mechanism to respond to the electoral fraud, upon his return to election process.

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IEC Secretariat Chief Ziaulhaq Amarkhil resigns http://www.khaama.com/iec-secetariat-chief-ziaulhaq-amarkhil-resigns-6240 http://www.khaama.com/iec-secetariat-chief-ziaulhaq-amarkhil-resigns-6240#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:44:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35945 Read the full article...]]> Ziaulhaq AmarkhilThe secretariat head of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan Ziaulhaq Amarkhil resigned from his position on Monday.

Amarkhil rejected his involvement in election fraud and said he has resigned for the sake of the national interests.

His resignation comes a day after Dr. Abdullah’s team broadcasted an audio recording claiming that Amarkhil was involved in industrial scale fraud in election runoff.

However, Amarkhil rejected the accusation against him and said the tape recording is fake.

He also added that he has not resigned under the pressure of anyone and called on Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to investigate the conspiracies against him.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chief, Yousuf Nusitani said he was saddened by Amarkhil’s resignation and said his decsion was not forced by the commission.

Nuristani also added that the tape recordings had no links with the resignation of Amarkhil.

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Afghan senators asks government to block Facebook website http://www.khaama.com/afghan-senators-asks-government-to-block-facebook-website-6233 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-senators-asks-government-to-block-facebook-website-6233#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 15:06:02 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35916 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan facebookA number of Afghan senators on Sunday asked the government to block the Facebook social media website as there have been growing inflammatory statements by supporters of the runoff contenders in social media websites.

The senators said Facebook website should remain blocked until the issues relating to the runoff presidential election are resolved and vote results have not been announced.

This comes as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also urged for responsible use of social media platforms, particularly in relation to the country’s ongoing electoral process.

UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, said, “Everyone has a right to their own views and opinions and to express these on social media, which can be a valuable tool in helping generate enthusiastic debate and encourage public participation – however, using these platforms for communication in ways which could increase tensions or incite violence is not conducive to the historic electoral process currently underway.”

Kubis said, “There has been a disturbing tone in some social media platforms, and we urge supporters of the candidates in the Afghan Presidential elections to refrain from inflammatory statements, hate speech or statements which promote divisive ethnic mobilization.”

He also added, “This includes rhetoric that brings back memories of tragic, fratricidal, factional conflicts in the 1990s that cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”

UNAMA also called on the candidates to take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making any irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability.

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UN warns against irresponsible use of social media on election issues http://www.khaama.com/un-warns-against-irresponsible-use-of-social-media-on-election-issues-6232 http://www.khaama.com/un-warns-against-irresponsible-use-of-social-media-on-election-issues-6232#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 13:42:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35909 Read the full article...]]> KubisThe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) urged for responsible use of social media platforms, particularly in relation to the country’s ongoing electoral process.

“Everyone has a right to their own views and opinions and to express these on social media, which can be a valuable tool in helping generate enthusiastic debate and encourage public participation – however, using these platforms for communication in ways which could increase tensions or incite violence is not conducive to the historic electoral process currently underway,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš.

“There has been a disturbing tone in some social media platforms, and we urge supporters of the candidates in the Afghan Presidential elections to refrain from inflammatory statements, hate speech or statements which promote divisive ethnic mobilization,” Mr. Kubiš added. “This includes rhetoric that brings back memories of tragic, fratricidal, factional conflicts in the 1990s that cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”

UNAMA strongly urged the candidates to take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making any irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability.

The UN Mission also urged the candidates and their supporters to act in the national interest and reminds them of their personal and political responsibility for peace, stability and the unity of the country.

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Amarkhil confident Karzai will not ask him to step down http://www.khaama.com/amarkhil-confident-karzai-will-not-ask-him-to-step-down-6231 http://www.khaama.com/amarkhil-confident-karzai-will-not-ask-him-to-step-down-6231#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 13:09:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35905 Read the full article...]]> AmarkhilZiaulhaq Amarkhil, the secretariat head of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC), has said he is confident that President Hamid Karzai will not ask him to step down.

Amarkhil has been accused of perpetrating “Industrial-scale” fraud in favor of presidential contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the second round of election.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also called for immediate suspension of Amarkhil from his position as the head of secretariat of IEC and halted his ties with the electoral bodies.

Some of the supporters of Dr. Abdullah on Sunday circulated a recording, allegedly of Mr. Amarkhil’s phone intercepts, that purports to show his involvement in organizing fraud ahead of the June 14 runoff.

Mr. Amarkhil is allegedly heard talking in code words such as “skinny” and “fat sheep” to refer to election turnout, urging local IEC officials to replace poll workers with members of the Uzbek and Pashtun communities that support Mr. Ghani.

In the recording, Mr. Amarkhil is also heard discussing which local commanders are more sympathetic to Mr. Ghani’s side.

However, Mr. Amarkhil dismissed the allegations and said he doesn’t recall having such conversations. “I would never talk like that,” Amarkhil told The Wall Street journal.

In response to a question regarding his possible dismissal by President Karzai, Amarkhil said he is confident President Karzai won’t ask him to step down.

He also expressed confidence that Mr. Karzai won’t sacrifice him as part of an effort to broker a compromise between Messrs.

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Election commission office closed in Kunduz due to security threats http://www.khaama.com/election-commission-office-closed-in-kunduz-due-to-security-threats-6229 http://www.khaama.com/election-commission-office-closed-in-kunduz-due-to-security-threats-6229#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 07:01:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35896 Read the full article...]]> Kunduz election officeThe Independent Election Commission (IEC) provincial office in Kunduz has been closed due to security threats.

Amir Hamza, head of the IEC office in Kunduz province said the office was closed after they received numerous security threats during the recent days.

The officials said that the IEC office will not be reopened until security threats have not been thwarted.

In the meantime, local security officials have dismissed that the security issues are threatening the election office in Kunduz province.

Provincial police spokesman, Syed Sarwar Hussaini said the IEC office in Kunduz province has been closed due to other reasons.

Hussaini rejected any security threat that has led to the closure of the IEC office in this province.

This comes as dozens of supporters of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday participated in a demonstration and urged for the suspension of IEC Secretariat chief Ziaulhaq Amarkhil.

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Partial runoff vote results announcement delayed http://www.khaama.com/partial-runoff-vote-results-announcement-delayed-6219 http://www.khaama.com/partial-runoff-vote-results-announcement-delayed-6219#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 11:29:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35865 Read the full article...]]> abdullah-ghani-reu-1200The release of partial results for the second round of presidential election has been delayed in a bid to build confidence between the two candidates.

Nicholas Haysom, deputy special representative for the UN secretary general, said Saturday that the decision was taken after one of the contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said he would not accept the results.

Abdullah earlier this week announced to halt his ties with the Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.

He also demanded an immediate halt to vote counting and said his team will not accept the outcome by the two electoral bodies.

This comes Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials earlier had said that the partial vote results will be announced from saturday.

However, Haysom said the move to delay the announcement is aimed at building confidence between the two contenders.

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Karzai accepts UN mediation to resolve election impasse http://www.khaama.com/karzai-accepts-un-mediation-to-resolve-election-impasse-6215 http://www.khaama.com/karzai-accepts-un-mediation-to-resolve-election-impasse-6215#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:32:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35838 Read the full article...]]> Karzai accepts UN meddling in Afghan vote impasseAfghan President Hamid Karzai has accepted the United Nations mediation to resolve the impasse due to the runoff presidential election.

The Presidential Palace media office following a statement said President Hamid Karzai has in contact with the two Presidential candidates.

The statement furhter added that the issue was shared during a meeting with the members of the Ulema council.

Karzai quoted in the statement said he welcomes the suggestion for UN mediation to resolve the impasse due to the runoff election.

Abdullah Abdullah, one of the contenders in runoff vote, on Wednesday called on United Nations to supervise the work of Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

Abdullah furhter added that he is not trusting the two electoral bodies and blamed Karzai for the political impasse in the country.

In the meantime, President Karzai has suggested that the issue should be resolved through the vice presidents and elders of the two candidates, the statement by Presidential Palace said.

He also added that he has contacted the two candidates and the government of Afghanistan respects and supports the two teams with the options suggested to resolve the impasse.

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Abdullah blames Karzai and election bodies for political impasse http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-blames-karzai-and-election-bodies-for-political-impasse-6213 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-blames-karzai-and-election-bodies-for-political-impasse-6213#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:01:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35832 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah blames karzaiAbdullah Abdullah, one of the two presidential contenders in the second round of election, blamed President Hamid Karzai and the election bodies for political impasse.

Abdullah appeared in another press conference a day after he announced to halt his ties with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).

He said his team will not accept the outcome of the two electoral bodies since their work is considered as illegal by his team.

He also criticized the election commission for continuing the vote counting process in the absence of his observers.

Abdullah on Wednesday announced to halt all ties with the election bodies and asked his observers to stop their activities and withdraw from the vote-counting process.

The decision by Abdullah to halt ties with the election bodies was taken after he demanded to suspend the IEC secretariat chief Zia-ul-haq Amarkhil and asked the election commission to clarify the number of people who voted in the second round of election along with the estimate for a number of provinces.

The electoral team of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai along with the UN mission in Afghanistan reacted towards the decision of Abdullah, with Ghani saying that the Abdullah’s decision is unjustified.

UNAMA also called Abdullah’s decision to halt ties with election bodies as unexpected and regrettable while the presidential palace said talks will be held with the two contenders.

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UN concerned at Abdullah’s decision to suspend ties with election bodies http://www.khaama.com/un-concerned-at-abdullahs-decision-to-suspend-ties-with-election-bodies-6206 http://www.khaama.com/un-concerned-at-abdullahs-decision-to-suspend-ties-with-election-bodies-6206#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:20:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35807 Read the full article...]]> 491129-jankubisThe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has called for respect of the country’s Constitution and laws, as well as its independent electoral institutions, following the announcement today by a candidate in the Presidential elections that he will suspend his cooperation with the electoral process.

“Regrettable as this step may be, we will continue to engage closely with both campaigns and the electoral commissions, consulting with them on a way forward,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš. He also recalled the code of conduct signed by both candidates where they pledged to cooperate with the electoral commissions.

“We believe that the electoral process should continue as laid out in the laws passed by the National Assembly. In particular, the mandate of the electoral institutions – the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) – must be respected,” he added.

“For their part, the electoral bodies have to demonstrate the highest levels of transparency and integrity and continue to proactively respond to valid candidate concerns,” Mr. Kubiš continued. “All efforts should be made to ensure that all valid votes are counted and all invalid ballots rejected – such efforts will have our full support.”

UNAMA following a statement said it learned of the decision of the candidate, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, to suspend his campaign’s cooperation with the IEC and IECC at his press conference today, in addition to his suggestion for the creation of a commission under UN supervision to oversee the election process.

“With the utmost concern, the UN Mission notes that appeals to circumvent or abandon the legal process and framework and appeal directly to supporters could incite violence. Indeed, some people have already called for civil disobedience and some incidents have already taken place,” the statement said.

The statement further added that UNAMA strongly urges the candidates to take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making any irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability.

UNAMA also urged the candidates and their supporters to act in the national interest and reminds them of their personal and political responsibility for peace, stability and the unity of the country.

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Karzai says presidential candidates to accept runoff poll results http://www.khaama.com/karzai-says-presidential-candidates-to-accept-runoff-poll-results-6205 http://www.khaama.com/karzai-says-presidential-candidates-to-accept-runoff-poll-results-6205#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:55:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35804 Read the full article...]]> 130103_hamid_karzai_ap_605Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the candidates will accept the final vote results for election runoff and disputes over election results are normal in every country.

Karzai also dismissed the possibility that the electoral disputes could take the country towards a crisis.

This comes as Abdullah Abdullah suspended his ties with the electoral bodies on Wednesday and demanded an immediate halt to vote counting.

However, Karzai said Afghanistan was moving on the right path and the electoral bodies will do their work which will be accepted by Afghan people.

President Karzai told the BBC chief editor Meena Baktash that we do not expect the election in Afghanistan will not be accompanied by issues and disputes since this is normal everywhere, even in United States.

In the meantime, Abdullah accused President Karzai that he did not remain neutral in elections and claimed that his rival Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was fully supported by him.

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Abdullah’s demands breaches the electoral agreement, says Ghani http://www.khaama.com/abdullahs-demands-breaches-the-electoral-agreement-says-ghani-6204 http://www.khaama.com/abdullahs-demands-breaches-the-electoral-agreement-says-ghani-6204#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:11:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35801 Read the full article...]]> Ashraf-Ghani-abdul_2912090bDr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai said Wednesday that the decision by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to stop vote counting and withdraw his team’s observers is a breach of agreement between the candidates and the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC).

While speaking during a press conference, Dr. Ghani said his team will not withdraw its observers and expects the IEC to carry on with vote counting.

“We consider the stoppage of vote-counting and withdrawal of observers as disrespect to people’s votes,” Dr. Ghani said, adding that, “People have come out in masses on June 14, they have voted. Therefore, the IEC must complete all its election proceedings.”

He also added that he and his team is against all efforts to stop the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Commission (ECC) to stop their work.

Dr. Ghani said he will wait until the Independent Election Commission announces the final vote result for the election runoff.

He said there will be no preduction on the results nor there will be any attempt by his team to create confusions among the people.

Dr. Abdullah said Wednesday that he has decided to suspend his relations with the electoral bodies since their demands have not been met by them.

Abdullah also demanded an immediate halt to vote counting and called on his observers to halt their work and stop cooperation with the electoral bodies.

He also accused the government for taking side for a specific candidate and being involved in systematic fraud.

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Ahmad Zia Massoud claims victory for Ghani in election runoff http://www.khaama.com/ahmad-zia-massoud-claims-victory-for-ghani-in-election-runoff-6202 http://www.khaama.com/ahmad-zia-massoud-claims-victory-for-ghani-in-election-runoff-6202#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 07:17:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35790 Read the full article...]]> Afghan President Ashraf Ghani AhmadzaiAhmad Zia Massoud, leader of the National Front of Afghanistan and supporter of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Wednesday claimed victory for Transformation & Continuity team in election runoff.

Massoud said his team is the winner in the second round of election, based on the partial information he has received so far.

He congratulated the Afghan people for the victory of his team in election runoff and pledged of more positive changes in Afghanistan once his team becomes the winner.

Massoud also insisted that the vote of the Afghan people should be respected since the country’s next leader will be appointed by Afghan people.

Massoud was contesting in the first round of presidential election as the first vice president of Zalmai Rassoul who joined Abdullah Abdullah’s team for the election runoff.

He joined the Transformation & Continuity team and announced his support to Dr. Ghani during the second round of election last month.

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Karzai rejects situation in Afghanistan could get worse as Iraq http://www.khaama.com/karzai-rejects-situation-in-afghanistan-could-get-worse-as-iraq-6200 http://www.khaama.com/karzai-rejects-situation-in-afghanistan-could-get-worse-as-iraq-6200#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 06:02:36 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35784 Read the full article...]]> KarzaiAfghan President Hamid Karzai rejected that the situation in Afghanistan could worse as Iraq and dismissed the possibility of al Qaeda groups comeback in the country.

President Karzai was speaking during an interview with the BBC’s Lyse Doucet in Kabul.

In response to a question, whether what was happening in Iraq could happen in Afghanistan, the president replied, “Never, not at all.”

Karzai said al Qaeda linked groups had no presence in Afghanistan and there is regular dialogue between him and the Taliban group.

“There is even an exchange of letters, meetings, and desire for peace,” Karzai said, adding that, “[But they were] not able to bring peace on their own, just like I and the Afghan people and government were unable to bring peace on their own.”

Karzai insisted on continued international support as Afghanistan did not have the means to sustain itself.

This comes as UN experts in their latest report said al Qaeda  affiliates from Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Uzbekistan are participating regularly in attacks on Afghan military forces and pose “a direct terrorist challenge” for Afghanistan, south and central Asia and the global community.

Afghan and international officials believe these Al Qaeda affiliated groups are unlikely to leave Afghanistan in the near future, which would keep them in the country as the US withdraws most of its troops, the experts said.

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UNAMA condemns attack on election workers in Helmand and Samangan http://www.khaama.com/unama-condemns-the-killing-of-election-workers-in-helmand-and-samangan-6195 http://www.khaama.com/unama-condemns-the-killing-of-election-workers-in-helmand-and-samangan-6195#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:26:36 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35766 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan ElectionsThe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) strongly condemns the continued, targeted killing of Afghan election workers in the wake of the historic second round of the country’s Presidential election last Saturday. 

The violence includes the killing of two employees of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) during an attack on a convoy transporting ballot boxes in the southern province of Helmand on Monday; and the deaths of eight IEC workers – along with another two civilians, including a child – by a remote-controlled improvised explosive device planted on a road in the northern province of Samangan on Saturday

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Samangan, stating that they had deliberately targeted a vehicle carrying poll workers. 

“Yet again, the people of Afghanistan are subject to cowardly, murderous attacks, including on those that work as election officials – it must be made clear that the latter are civilians and should not be targeted. They play a fundamental role in helping their fellow civilians exercise their right to determine the future of their country through democratic elections,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš. “Electoral workers must be able to carry out their important work without the threat of violence or intimidation.” 

Equally appalling as the attacks of the past days are the vicious attacks against civilians which took place on the election day itself. Fifty-three civilians were killed and another 161 injured in violence perpetrated by anti-Government elements – Afghans killing Afghan civilians. The horrifying number of fatalities includes 20 children and at least ten women. 

UNAMA reiterated that the attacks directed against civilians are serious violations of international humanitarian law which parties to the armed conflict – including all anti-Government elements – must uphold. Crimes against civilians will not be forgotten and those responsible for these crimes will eventually be held accountable. 

UNAMA in its statement said the Mission expresses its condolences to the families of the victims. 

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More attacks reported by Abdullah backers on Ghani’s supporters http://www.khaama.com/more-attacks-reported-by-abdullah-backers-on-ghanis-supporters-6188 http://www.khaama.com/more-attacks-reported-by-abdullah-backers-on-ghanis-supporters-6188#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 18:54:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35740 Read the full article...]]> imrsSeveral people supporting Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have been killed or injured by supporters of runoff poll contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

A teacher was among the victims who killed by supporters of Dr. Abdullah in northeastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan.

According to the local residents, the teacher – Shaida, was returning from the polling station after voting for Dr. Ghani and was attacked by supporters of Dr. Abdullah in Sarqul Yaftal district.

The supporters of Dr. Abdullah also opened fire on a group of people chanting in support of Dr. Ghani in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday.

At least two people including a child were killed and another one was injured following the shooting spree.

Dozens of people gathered and protested near the house of an Afghan lawmaker whose guards were accused for killing the ordinary civilians.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Sunday visited several people who were injured following various incidents during the voting day.

“Amongst the victims of terrorist attacks are females too. We’ve pledged with their families full expense of treatment,” the electoral campaign team of Dr. Ghani said following an online statement.

Around seven million people participated in runoff presidential vote on Saturday defying threat of violence to elect the next president of Afghanistan.

According to the election commission officials, the participation of male voters was around 62 percent while voters participation was around 38 percent.

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Abdullah urges to suspend IECC chief Ziaulhaq Amarkhil http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-urges-to-suspend-iecc-chief-ziaulhaq-amarkhil-6187 http://www.khaama.com/abdullah-urges-to-suspend-iecc-chief-ziaulhaq-amarkhil-6187#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 17:29:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=35733 Read the full article...]]> ABDULLAHABDULLAH_1603553fDr. Abdullah Abdullah, presidential contender in the second round of election, on Monday called for the suspension of Independent Electoral Complaints (IEC) Chief, Ziaulhaq Amar Khel.

Speaking during a press conference late Sunday evening, Abdullah warned that he and his team will not accept the outcome of the runoff vote unless Amarkhil has been suspended.

Abdullah further added that he is concerned of systematic fraud in runoff presidential vote as Amarkhil was caught red handed.

He called for an investigation into allegations against Amarkhil and said the he and his team will not be convinced unless their representatives are present during the investigation.

Kabul security chief, Gen. Zahir Zahir, accused the IECC chief Ziaulhaq Amarkhil for electoral fraud after police seized a vehicle laden with sensitive election materials from the 9th district of Kabul city during the runoff vote day.

Gen. Zahir accused Amarkhil for using the sensitive election materials in the favor of a specific candidate.

However, Amarkhil denied the allegations and called it a personal conspiracy by Kabul police chief against him.

Amarkhil also accused Gen. Zahir for misusing from his position and military uniform and said his interference resulted into the shortage of ballot papers in various polling stations.

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