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Afghan election in crisis as candidate pulls out of audit

Published on Aug 27, 2014 3:56 PM
 
Afghanistan's fraud-hit election teetered on the brink of collapse Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014, as Abdullah Abdullah, one of the two candidates, boycotted the UN-supervised vote audit set up to end a prolonged dispute over the rightful winner. -- PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistan's fraud-hit election teetered on the brink of collapse Wednesday as one of the two candidates boycotted the UN-supervised vote audit set up to end a prolonged dispute over the rightful winner.

Abdullah Abdullah, who claims that massive fraud was committed against him in the June 14 vote, pulled out of the audit after his senior campaign officials dismissed the process for invalidating fake votes as "a joke".

The stand-off between Abdullah and his poll rival Ashraf Ghani has threatened to revive ethnic violence in Afghanistan as US-led NATO troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting Taliban insurgents.

The audit of all eight million votes was halted on Wednesday when Abdullah's observers refused to participate - despite a US-brokered deal in which both sides vowed to support the recount and respect its outcome.

 
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