Afghanistan: Karzai Asks UN For Help Over Fraud Allegations

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Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai

Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai

The Afghan front-running presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday released audio recordings which he alleges to contain irrefutable evidence of fraud in the June 14 presidential runoff.

The recordings are the latest attempt by the former Foreign minister and opposition leader to denounce what he deems an irregular vote, accusing election officials and exiting President Hamid Karzai of interfering in favour of his rival Ashraf Ghani.

Abdullah’s team has refused to disclose how it obtained the recordings, which allegedly prove the involvement of officials and police in the fraud, but it is not possible to confirm their authenticity.

In a bid to end the political crisis, Karzai called on the United Nations to collaborate in the verification of the vote count and fraud allegations. The UN accepted to help, but stressed that the controversy must be resolved directly by the Afghanis in question. UN officials intend to conduct a mediation between the candidates, parties and Afghani government, however stressing that the work of the election bodies that are invalidating irregular votes, must be respected.

Though official results have not been released, sources of both candidates confirm that Ghani appears in the lead, thanks to an increase in the turnout to the polls in the Pashtun areas of the nation. Abdullah, who won in the first round with 45% of votes by a 13 percentage point margin, rejected that the orientation of the electorate could change so rapidly.

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