Afghan president Ashraf Ghani won the presidential election to secure the second term in office. The Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission has announced preliminary results. According to Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission- he defeated his arch rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with clear margin. According to the Independent Election Commission, Ghani won 50.64 per cent of the vote in the September 28 poll, easily beating Abdullah, who scored 39.52 per cent. The preliminary results found Ghani won 923,868 votes while Abdullah won 720,990 votes, according to Nuristani.
If the Ghani succeeded to get more than 50% votes he got in the preliminary results than the second round of voting will not take place. According to Afghan election laws- the winner needs to obtain more than 50% votes in the first round to avoid the run-off. Now all eyes would be on the final count.
Dr. Abdullah has refused to accept the results of presidential elections held on September 28. Dr. He has announced to contest the results. The Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah is working as Chief Executive with president Ghani in a national unity government after the previous presidential elections which failed to produce clear winner. The 2014 presidential election was mired in accusations of widespread fraud. That led the US to cobble together a unity government between Ghani and Abdullah, the two leading contenders. Their partnership has been fraught with bickering and rifts.
Afghanistan’s election commission tried to launch a ballot recount in November but Abdullah halted the attempt, saying he wouldn’t let his observers participate. He eventually allowed a recount to go forward earlier this month. Thousands of Abdullah’s supporters had rallied in November against what they said was the presence of faked ballots. The controversial recount seemed set to favour Ghani.
Candidates now have the right to file any complaints they may have before final results are announced, probably within a few weeks. As soon as the result was announced, Abdullah’s office said in a statement he would contest it.
We would like to make it clear once again to our people, supporters, election commission and our international allies that our team will not accept the result of this fraudulent vote unless our legitimate demands are addressed,” the statement read.
Preliminary results were originally due October 19 but were repeatedly delayed amid technical issues and allegations of fraud from various candidates, particularly Abdullah.
On the other hand- the Afghan Independent Election Commission chair woman Hawa Alam Nuristani rejected the allegations of fraud- rigging and irregularities and said that “we, with honesty, loyalty, responsibility and faithfulness completed our duty. We respected every single vote because we wanted democracy to endure.”
The election was meant to be the cleanest yet in Afghanistan’s young democracy, with a German firm supplying biometric machines to stop people from voting more than once.
But nearly one million of the initial 2.7 million votes were purged owing to irregularities, meaning the election saw by far the lowest turnout of any Afghan poll.
The protracted limbo between the vote and the preliminary result heaped additional uncertainty on Afghans who already are anxiously awaiting the outcome of talks between the US and the Taliban.
President Ashraf Ghani and his government have been sidelined during the past year of direct talks between the US and the Taliban. Washington seeks to withdraw its combat troops and end 18 years of fighting in Afghanistan, America’s longest war.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan John R Bass tweeted: “It’s important for all Afghans to remember these results are preliminary. Many steps remain before final election results are certified, to ensure the Afghan people have confidence in the results”.
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