Ghani vows to fight on, refuses deals

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who is second behind Abdullah Abdullah in preliminary results from the April 5 presidential elections, on Sunday said he would fight on and go for a second round with determination, refusing to strike deals.
The former finance minister, who secured 31.5 percent of the vote, told reporters in Kabul people should decide who had the ability to bring chages to the system.
Abdullah, a former foreign minister in President Karzai’s previous term, bagged 44.5 percent of the votes, but failed to reach the magic 50 plus one percent needed to avoid a runoff with Ghani.
Ghani said that investigations into fraud could change the percentages and lessen the distance between the two top candidates before final results due on May 14.
"A second round is a must according to constitution. Any doubts will threaten the stability of Afghanistan. "We will go for principles, not deals," he added. "The people's votes tell me not to strike any deals with anyone behind the curtains.
"We are ready, the people are ready, I call on the international community not to doubt our determination. "If the polls are transparent, I will be the first to congratulate the winner, and we expect the same from them, because we will be the winner."
The United Nations' mission in Afghanistan welcomed Sunday's results, but warned election officials that they must address all complaints "in a professional, expeditious and open manner" to safeguard the process.
Nearly seven million people voted in the April 5 election out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million -- well above the 2009 turnout.
ma/mds

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