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US urges 'thorough review' of fraud claims in Afghanistan presidential vote

Published on Jul 8, 2014 1:19 AM
Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) head Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani speaking during a press conference in Kabul on July 7, 2014. Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani won Afghanistan's presidential election, according to preliminary results, with 56.4 per cent of the run-off vote to Mr Abdullah Abdullah's 43.5 per cent. Officials said the turnout was more than eight million in the June 14 vote out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million voters -- far higher than expected, and a figure likely to trigger further allegations of fraud from both sides. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Monday urged a "full and thorough" review of serious fraud allegations in Afghanistan's presidential election run-off and called for the two candidates to cooperate with the investigations.

Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani was leading in preliminary election results, but Washington insisted the Afghan authorities not jump the gun and announce a winner before electoral bodies make their final findings.

"We have seen today's announcement of preliminary results and note that these figures are not final or authoritative and may not predict the final outcome, which could still change based on the findings of the Afghan electoral bodies," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "Serious allegations of fraud have been raised and have yet to be adequately investigated," she added.

Preliminary results released Monday showed Mr Ghani with 56.4 per cent of the run-off vote compared to 43.5 per cent for former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.

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