Afghan candidate seeks halt to runoff vote count


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KABUL, Afghanistan — Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah demanded Wednesday that Afghan electoral authorities stop counting ballots from a weekend runoff vote, citing new allegations of widespread fraud. The election commission refused and appealed to all sides to await final results.

The discord set the stage for a showdown that could threaten Afghanistan’s first peaceful transfer of authority.

Mr. Abdullah, a onetime aide to a famed warlord during the Afghan anti-Soviet guerrilla campaign, said monitors deployed by his campaign to the polls had recorded massive ballot box stuffing and other irregularities.

He also announced that his team was suspending relations with the Independent Election Commission, accusing it of interfering in the vote and inflating turnout figures.

The finger-pointing in the June 14 election pitting Mr. Abdullah against Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai mars what Western officials had hoped would be an important step toward democracy for the troubled country as the United States and its allies wind down their 13-year combat mission.

afghanistan - United States - North America - Asia - Central Asia - Taliban - Hamid Karzai - Afghanistan government - Abdullah Abdullah - Ashraf Ghani


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