Abdullah blames Karzai for backing his rival

KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday accused President Hamid Karzai of supporting his rival in the runoff election, saying he no longer trusted the electoral bodies.
At a news conference in Kabul, the former foreign minister demanded an immediate stop to the vote-tallying process until their demands were met.
Looking to throw in the towel, he added the election commissions’ decisions would not be acceptable to his camp as long as his demands were not met.  
“We have evidence of ballot stuffing in areas where no election took place. Residents of some areas were not allowed to exercise their legal right. As a result, we have lost our confidence in the electoral bodies.”
The ex-minister claimed the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announcement regarding participation of more than seven million people in the process was highly inflated and simply unbelievable.
He maintained: “Rigging was committed with the connivance of election commission staff. Why did the IEC remain silent when ballot boxes were stuffed a night before the voting day? Without doubt, the president has not been impartial.”
According to Abdullah, the whole system was used to favour one candidate -- a not-so-veiled reference to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
“Ballot papers numbering more than eligible voters were sent to some provinces. We have sought the commission’s response, but it hasn’t come yet. On the eve of the election, we asked how many polling centres will be functional, but nobody responded.”
His camp had shared its objections to the dismissal of more than 5,000 IEC workers and their replacements with the commission, Abdullah said, complaining his call for the removal of the IEC secretary was yet to be addressed.
His team would not accept the results as long as they were not briefed on the seven million people’s participation in the process and the IEC secretary was not suspended.
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan called Abdullah's remarks a surprise. "We regret this step, and will keep working with both campaigns and the election commission," UNAMA spokesman Ari Gaitanis told a foreign news agency.

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