Afghan election result delayed again despite US pressure

Afghanistan will not have a new president in time for a key NATO summit next week, officials said Thursday, as the country`s prolonged election crisis lurched towards another damaging delay.

Kabul: Afghanistan will not have a new president in time for a key NATO summit next week, officials said Thursday, as the country`s prolonged election crisis lurched towards another damaging delay.

The latest deadline of September 2 was abandoned as a UN-supervised audit of all eight million votes has fallen behind schedule, with both candidates still claiming victory in the fraud-tainted vote.

A NATO summit in Britain from September 4-5 is meant to agree on future support for Afghanistan after the 13-year US-led combat mission ends this year.

But NATO members have stressed a new president should be in place before the summit to prove that the country has becoming a functioning state after receiving billions of dollars of military and civilian aid assistance.

Jan Kubis, the UN mission chief, told President Hamid Karzai "that a rigorous and credible audit required time, but could be completed around 10 September", according to a UN statement.

"Following all necessary steps, as required by law, the inauguration of the new President should then be possible soon after," it said.

The US had been leading a strong international effort to push for the next president to be inaugurated by September 2 to allow him to attend the summit.

 

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