Legitimate polls vital to partnership with Afghan Govt: US

Washington: Amid reports of fraud and rigging in Afghanistan Presidential elections, the US Wednesday said allegations of fraud need to be acted upon and made it clear that a legitimate electoral process is vital to any kind of partnership with the new government there.

Noting that the results of these elections need to be credible, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly stressed the need for having a rigorous vetting of all of these allegations of fraud.

"A legitimate electoral process is vital to us and vital to any kind of partnership that we would have with the government going forward," he said, but was quick to add that the entire process hasn't played out yet.

"We are calling on all the different actors out there, the political institutions, to show patience. And we are not going to pronounce our analysis of the election until the whole process has played out," he said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spoke over phone the US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry on issues of US national interest. Eikenberry also had a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul yesterday, though not much details of it were available.

"We need to have an election that reflects the will of the Afghan people, and all these allegations of fraud need to be acted upon," he said.

Kelly said it is very important that these elections are seen as legitimate in the eyes of the Afghan people and in the eyes of the international community.

"I am not going to prejudge where this whole thing comes out. It is not going to be a matter of days or weeks; it could be a matter of months to sort out all of these allegations," he said.

Responding to a question, Kelly said: "We are not going to prejudge how it comes out or prejudge what kind of measures they might take to address these problems."

The Obama Administration wants to see an election that is reflective of the will of the Afghan people, and have a partner in place that it can work with that enjoys the support of the people.

"And that's why this process needs to be rigorously followed," he said.

Bureau Report