KABUL (Pajhwok): ‘Stability and Partnership’ electoral team led by Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday said called for a halt to the vote recounting process, claiming the process ‘lacked legitimacy’ and they would not accept the presidential election result.
Addressing his supporters in Kabul, Abdullah warned if the vote recount process continued, the country would plunge into crisis and the ‘State Builder’ team led by President Ashraf Ghani would be responsible for that.
A day earlier, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) started the vote recount process despite opposition from Rahmatullah Nabil, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Gul Badin Hekmatyar electoral teams, according to a statement from the election body.
Chief Exertive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and his ‘Stability and Partnership’ electoral team addressed his supporters in Loya Jirga hall and urged the IEC to stop immediately the recounting of votes.
He said the IEC should consider people’s real votes and the Stability and Partnership electoral team soft stance and discuss the stopping of the vote recount with their observers.
He said the vote recounting process has been ongoing without the presence of the Stability and Partnership electoral team’s observers and the process lacked legitimacy.
Dr. Abdullah said they will never impose any illegal decision on the IEC and would never admit any illegal decision as well.
He stressed based on law and electoral procedure, more than 300,000 votes should have been invalidated and result of the IEC recent decision to recount and audit votes of 400 polling stations would be illegal and not acceptable to people.
Abdullah Abdullah warned to fight for cleaning of all votes till the end and would cut no deal in this regard.
He said his observers would be boycotting the recount, saying they were trying to save the process from fraudsters.
The results from the poll were initially scheduled to be released on October 19, but the announcement was delayed twice — with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials citing various technical problems.
A new date has been set for Thursday, but officials have hinted that announcement may be pushed back as well.
Abdullah previously claimed victory against Ghani believing he secured the most votes, before agreeing to wait for the recount and “absolutely” respecting the results if the process was proved to be fair and transparent.
He said, “I assure you that I will defend the clean votes of people and the results should be only based on people’s clean votes and there will be no compromise on this right of people.”
He said he accepted expediency in the past for which the people of Afghanistan paid price. “I wish those opportunities were used for national unity, partnership and cementing bonds of ethnicities but discrimination and corruption increased”.
He added, “Our electoral team is ready for discussion and discussions could be in the presence of international and domestic observers and the Transparent and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TIFA) and the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) monitors.”
Meanwhile, Amrullah Salih, vice-president candidate of the ‘State Builder’ electoral team led by Ashraf Ghani wrote on his Facebook page, “CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was directly present in the recruitment of all government and election bodies and if the capacity of such commissions is under question then is the role of the CEO against is as well?”
 He added CEO Dr. Abdullah has been attempting not to take responsibility for the country’s issues and to create imaginary conflicts in order to declare himself innocent.
“You respect the election bodies only when they pay heed to your personal commitments.”
The election panel had earlier said the preliminary outcome would be unveiled on October 19 and the final results on November 7.
But due to some technical issues in sifting valid ballots from fraudulent ones, the commission could not announce the result on the due date.

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