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US for impartial review of Afghan electoral fraud allegations

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 04:42

Washington: The US today called for an impartial review and adjudication of all election related fraud allegations in the Afghan presidential elections held this month.

The move comes in the wake of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah`s allegations of large scale electoral fraud and mass rigging and his decision not to co-operate with country`s independent electoral institutions.

"This is something that we`re following pretty closely. The United States urges both sides to remain engaged with the electoral institutions and avoid violence.
We would regret any moves to the contrary," said White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, in his first press conference.

He said allegations of improper behaviour and credible complaints should be investigated through proper channels.

"There are established legal mechanisms for receiving, investigating and adjudicating complaints, both in the provinces and in Kabul, with both commissions and at several stages in the process.

"We call upon the electoral institutions to ensure that all allegations of fraud brought to them are given careful and impartial review and adjudication," he said.

Noting that a dialogue between the candidates and the electoral bodies is essential, Earnest said the US supported "direct discussions as soon as possible" to have a mechanism in place to adjudicate the concerns raised about the integrity of the election.
The US is encouraging both sides, both the two candidates and those who are allied with one of the two candidates, to pursue a disposition of these concerns through the well-established order, as dictated by Afghan tradition and the Afghan constitution, he said.

"That is the way for these disputes to be resolved, and the United States will continue to stand beside the Afghan people as they work through the democratic process," he said.

"As I can personally attest, the democratic process is sometimes pretty messy. But the country will be well-served by pursuing the concerns that have been raised through the established electoral institutions," he said.

Earnest, who had been with US President, Barack Obama, during his presidential campaign days, served as his Deputy Press Secretary before being elevated to the presidential spokesperson replacing Jay Carney.

First Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 04:42

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