The Asian Age
Abdullah sets deadline on poll audit demands
‘ We are setting this deadline — that if tomorrow our logical demands of transparent auditing and an honest political process are not met, we will completely boycott the-whole process,’ Mr Abdullah’s spokesman said
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Monday issued another ultimatum over the disputed election result, threatening to withdraw from all efforts to negotiate a solution to the deepening political crisis.
Mr Abdullah claims that fraud cheated him of victory in the June 14 election, and fears have risen of a return to unrest of the 1990s civil war after his supporters called on him to form a “parallel government”.
As tensions threatened to boil over, the United States brokered a deal between Mr Abdullah and his rival Mr Ashraf Ghani in which they agreed to an audit of all eight million votes and the formation of a post- election national unity government.
But Mr Abdullah’s spokesman Fazel Aqa Hussain Sancharaki said his team was on the brink of abandoning both parts of the deal — potentially plunging Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power into further turmoil. “Our patience is running out, any announcement of results made by the fraudulent election commission will be rejected by us,” Sancharaki told reporters.
“We are setting this deadline — that if tomorrow our logical demands of transparent auditing and an honest political process are not met, we will completely boycott the whole process.”
Last week Mr Abdullah pulled out of the audit, but had said difficult negotiations on the national unity government were still under way.
The talks have floundered over the new role of “chief executive officer” who will serve under the President.
“The problem is that ( Abdullah’s) team wants more authority for the chief executive, for him to be like a Prime Minister,” Tahir Zaheer, a spokesman for the Ghani campaignsaid.