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Audit ends, but election puzzle remains unsolved

Partial vote count results
The UN-super¬vised audit of votes cast in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election was completed on Friday, officials said, but the results would not be known for days.
Both presidential candidates claim to have won the June 14 election, triggering a political stalemate as US-led NATO combat troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the Taliban.
The United Nations has said the audit results should be finalised by September 10, with the delayed inauguration of President Hamid Karzai’s successor scheduled to be held soon afterward.
But election rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have failed to come to an agreement on a national unity government, which was negotiated under a deal to save the country from slipping back into the ethnic division of the 1990s civil war.
Abdullah, who says the election was affected by massive fraud, has already said he will reject the audit’s outcome, while the UN has been in last-minute talks to persuade him to remain in power-sharing negotiations.
“The auditing and recounting process of all the votes has been concluded,” Noor Mohammad Noor, Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman, told reporters in Kabul.
The IEC will now compile results from the audited ballot boxes and decide which of the disputed votes should be thrown out. There is a 72-hour window for appeals against its rulings. (Afg Express Report)

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