Afghan presidential candidate defiantly rejects election results

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah defiantly told thousands of supporters Monday that he will declare victory in the country’s election, claiming massive fraud was responsible for preliminary results that put his rival in the lead.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah defiantly told thousands of supporters Monday that he will declare victory in the country’s election, claiming massive fraud was responsible for preliminary results that put his rival in the lead. The United States warned both camps against trying to seize power, saying international financial and security support was 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.

Abdullah said he received calls from President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and he was told that Kerry would be flying to the Afghan capital on Friday in a bid to help defuse the crisis. State Department officials accompanying Kerry in Beijing declined to comment on his travel plans.

Abdullah told his supporters that the results of the election were fraudulent, but asked them to give him a few more days to negotiate.

“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,” he told his supporters, many angry over the result. “We announce that only the government elected through clean votes will come to power.”

The Afghan Independent Election Commission released preliminary election results Monday showing former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well in the lead for the presidency but said no winner could be declared because millions of ballots were being audited for fraud.

Preliminary results from the June 14 runoff vote announced Monday showed that Ahmadzai had about 4.5 million votes, or 56 per cent, while Abdullah had 3.5 million votes, or 44 per cent, according to the commission. Turnout was more than 50 per cent.

That was a sharp turnaround from the first round of voting on April 5 when Abdullah garnered the most votes with 46 per cent to Ahmadzai’s 31.6 per cent but failed to get the majority needed to avoid a runoff vote.

Abdullah has refused to accept any results from the second round until all fraudulent ballots are invalidated.

Ahmadzai, a U.S.-educated former finance minister and World Bank official, said he also had spoken to Kerry on the telephone.

“We welcome him (Kerry) coming here, but the real responsibility is up to us and we are hopeful that we will fulfil all our responsibilities,” he said at a news conference at his home in Kabul. “We are prepared to engage in political discussion in order to make sure that we move to insure the legitimacy of the process, its fairness and the acceptance of its results.”

He also rejected the idea of parallel governments, which has been raised by some Abdullah supporters.

“Talk of parallel governments will remain in the level of talk, because the historic responsibility that his excellency Dr. Abdullah and I as people who have submitted ourselves to the will of the people of Afghanistan have is to ensure the stability of this country and the legitimacy of the regime to which we have devoted our lives.”

The election commission acknowledged that vote rigging had occurred and said ballots from about 7,000 more of the nearly 23,000 polling stations would be audited.

Abdullah charged that outgoing President Hamid Karzai, Ahmadzai and the election commission were colluding against him. “They ignored us and announced the fraudulent results,” he said.

“People across the county have called on us to announce our government and I cannot say no to the people’s wish,” he said. “All of our lives we defended this country. We do not want crisis, we want national unity.”

“We are the winner of the election without any doubt,” he said.

Kerry said during a visit to Tokyo that any action to seize power illegally in Afghanistan would lead to the end of U.S. financial and security support.

Kerry said suggestions of a “parallel government” in Afghanistan were a grave concern and added that he expected Afghan electoral institutions to conduct a full review of all reasonable allegations of irregularities. He said there was no justification for violence or threats of illegal action.

“Any action to take power by extra-legal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community,” Kerry said.

Abdullah said Obama had called him to promise help “in cleaning up votes.”

The European Union and the U.N. urged the IEC and its sister complaints commission to co-operate on the audits.

The U.N. mission in Afghanistan also called on both candidates “to exercise restraint and take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability.”

Meanwhile, the Czech Ministry of Defence confirmed that four Czech troops were killed and another was badly wounded by Tuesday’s blast.

At least 10 civilians and two police officers also were killed in the attack near the provincial capital of Charakar, local government spokesman Wahid Sediqqi said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to the media.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read