Afghanistan elections: Abdullah Abdullah claims victory in presidential run-off vote amid fraud allegations – despite Ashraf Ghani being declared winner
Thousands of supporters rally in Kabul
The Afghan presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, told thousands of supporters he planned to declare victory as he claimed that widespread fraud had put his rival ahead in preliminary results from the country’s elections.
Washington has warned both camps against trying to seize power, saying international financial and security support is at stake. The turmoil came as violence escalated around the country. A suicide bomber struck Afghan and foreign forces near a clinic in the eastern province of Parwan, killing at least 16 people, including four Czech soldiers.
Mr Abdullah said he had received calls from the US President, Barack Obama, and Secretary of State John Kerry, and was told Mr Kerry would fly to the Afghan capital on Friday to help defuse the crisis.
Ashraf Ghani used to work for the World Bank (Getty Images)
Mr Abdullah said the results of the election were fraudulent but asked them to give him a few more days to negotiate. He added: “We denounce and do not accept the results of the fraudulent vote. I assure you people of Afghanistan that I will sacrifice for you, but I will never accept a fraudulent government. We announce that only the government elected through clean votes will come to power.”
Abdullah supporters rally in Kabul (GETTY IMAGES)
The Afghan Independent Election Commission released preliminary results on Monday, showing the ex-Finance Minister, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, well in the lead. It said no winner could be declared because millions of ballots were being audited for fraud. Preliminary results from the run-off ballot on 14 June showed Mr Ahmadzai had about 4.5 million votes, or 56 per cent, while Mr Abdullah had 3.5 million votes (44 per cent). Turnout was more than 50 per cent. That was a sharp turnaround from the first round on 5 April, when Mr Abdullah polled 46 per cent to Mr Ahmadzai’s 31.6 per cent but failed to get the majority needed to avoid a run-off.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry has registered 'grave concern' about developments in the country
Mr Abdullah has refused to accept any results from the second round until all ballots are validated. The election commission acknowledged that vote-rigging had occurred and said ballots from nearly 23,000 polling stations would be audited.
Mr Abdullah accused the outgoing President, Hamid Karzai, Mr Ahmadzai and the election commission of colluding against him. “They ignored us and announced the fraudulent results,” he said.
There were fears Mr Abdullah could ignore the result and declare victory. “People across the country call on us to announce our government and I can’t not say no to people’s wish,” he said. “We do not want crisis, we want national unity.”
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...