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

- EMAL HAIDARY

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.

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