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Afghanistan candidates in last minute talks to defuse election crisis

Published on Jul 7, 2014 8:42 PM
 
Afghan election workers count votes at their computer terminals at the Independent Election Commission (IEC) headquarters in Kabul on June 16, 2014. Rival Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani held last-minute talks on Monday to try to resolve a standoff over the outcome of a troubled election, as officials once again delayed the announcement of preliminary results. -- PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (REUTERS) - Rival Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani held last-minute talks on Monday to try to resolve a standoff over the outcome of a troubled election, as officials once again delayed the announcement of preliminary results.

The deadlock over the June 14 second round run-off has quashed hopes for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, a headache for the West as most US-led forces continue to withdraw from the country this year.

Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission had been due to announce results of the June 14 run-off vote at 2pm (0930 GMT) but officials said it would be put off by a few hours.

It was unclear what caused the delay, which came as rival camps struggled to find a last-minute compromise to keep Afghanistan from sliding into a protracted period of uncertainty without a clear leader accepted by all sides.

 
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