Fraud is my only rival: Abdullah

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): Top-voted presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday said his victory in the first round of presidential elections was clear if the vote had been clean, saying fraud was his main rival.
Addressing a press conference in Kabul, Abdullah, who secured 44.9 percent of the votes, said he was not concerned about the elections heading for a second round, but measures should be taken to prevent fraud in the runoff.
His main rival Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai secured 31.5 percent of the votes, but both fell short of the magic 50 plus one percent to avoid a runoff.
Abdullah criticised the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) for giving a short deadline to register complaints regarding the preliminary results and invalidated votes.
However, the IECC extended by 24 hours the deadline from 7pm Sunday to 7pm Monday.
Abdullah claimed with the evidence they had, the victory of his team was evident and clear, saying he would have won the first round decisively if the election had been clean.
"We said from the beginning that fraud is our only rival, and we still hope that the complaints we have delivered will be addressed in a transparent way. "There were fraud violations -- organised, systematic fraud."
Abdullah also accused the government of "meddling" in the vote.
The final result is set to be announced on May 14 after a period for adjudication of hundreds of fraud complaints -- followed by a run-off tentatively scheduled for June 7.
nh/rm/ma

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