Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Afghanistan

Protests Held In Kabul Over Alleged Election Fraud

Protesters March Through Kabul Against Election Fraudi
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June 21, 2014
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah held protests on June 21 in Kabul against alleged election fraud. Activists marched through the streets chanting slogans against the Independent Election Commission, accusing it of ballot-rigging. (Reuters)

WATCH: Protesters March Through Kabul Against Election Fraud

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Afghan Presidential Transition In Crisis Amid Election Fraud Allegations

It might be just days after the runoff election in Afghanistan, but already allegations of massive fraud are threatening the country's first democratic transition of power.
By RFE/RL
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah have held street protests against alleged election fraud.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Kabul chanting slogans against the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which they accused of ballot-rigging. The protests were reportedly peaceful.

Abdullah, a former foreign minister, has accused electoral officials and others of trying to rig the result of the June 14 runoff between him and Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister.

Abdullah, who won the first-round vote against Ghani, has said he would not recognize any results released by the election commission. He has also called for the United Nations to supervise vote-counting. 
 
In Focus: Afghan Protests Erupt

Outgoing President Hamid Karzai has backed Abdullah's calls for the UN to intervene.

A statement from Karzai's office on June 20 said UN mediation would be "a positive step."

The UN has called on candidates to refrain from interfering in the process.

The UN Mission in Afghanistan says they are ready to help resolve a crisis sparked by allegations of election fraud.

Nazifullah Salarzai, a UNAMA spokesman, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan on June 21 that any effort to solve the crisis must be "led and administered by Afghans and with the consent of all parties involved." 

NATO Withdrawal

The IEC has rejected the claims of  fraud and said vote-counting continues. According to the IEC's official timetable, the preliminary election result is due on July 2.

The election fraud allegations have sparked a political crisis ahead of the withdrawal of NATO-led troops by the end of 2014.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomb attack targeted a top Afghan official in Kabul on June 21. 

Police said the bomber detonated his vehicle alongside the armored car of Mohammad Massom Stanikzai on June 21.

While Stanikzai was not harmed, police said one civilian had died and several more were injured in the bombing. 

Stanikzai is a senior official in the High Peace Council, a government body tasked with overseeing peace talks with the Taliban insurgency. 
 
With reporting by AFP and AP

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