Afghan election result delayed for recounting: Official

The preliminary result of Afghanistan`s presidential election run-off has been delayed for several days for a recount of ballots in 2,000 voting centres amid a dispute over fraud, officials said on Tuesday.

AFP| Updated: Jul 01, 2014, 18:04 PM IST

Kabul: The preliminary result of Afghanistan`s presidential election run-off has been delayed for several days for a recount of ballots in 2,000 voting centres amid a dispute over fraud, officials said on Tuesday.

"We have started inspecting the votes in around 2,000 polling centres after the commission decided to make sure of transparency," Independent Election Commission member Sharifa Zurmati told AFP.

"The announcement has been delayed for several days until the inspection ends. We will hopefully finish the inspection on Friday and then set a date.
"During the inspection, some votes will be invalidated."

About 6,000 voting centres were open across Afghanistan on June 14, when voters chose between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani.

Abdullah, previously seen as the poll front-runner, has boycotted the election process over what he said was "blatant fraud", while Ghani has said the election was clean and that he is more than one million votes ahead.

The United Nations and donor countries have been trying for months to prevent a contested outcome, fearing political deadlock and ethnic violence as US-led troops withdraw from the country.

But with the two candidates at loggerheads, many fear the results could tip Afghanistan into a risky period of street protests and uncertainty.
Any tension between supporters could ignite ethnic unrest as Ghani attracts much of his support from the Pashtun tribes of the south and east, while Abdullah`s loyalists are Tajiks and other northern Afghan groups.

The UN has expressed its concerns over rising friction and last week called on candidates and their supporters to "refrain from any acts that incite imminent violence, civil disorder or lead to instability".