The Afghan people will not accept “not being able to chose its own future”, election candidate Dr Abdullah Abdullah told FRANCE 24 in an interview Wednesday, claiming that as many as one million votes were fraudulent.
Afghan presidential candidate Dr Abdullah Abdullah told FRANCE 24 the Afghan people will not “accept not being able to chose its own future”, citing widespread fraud in recent presidential elections.
The current president’s main rival claimed there may have been more than one million fraudulent votes, while the Afghan Electoral Commission gives incumbent Hamid Karzai a clear lead.
“Ballot box stuffing took place in hundreds, thousands of places”, he said in a phone interview with FRANCE 24. “The results don’t mean anything.”
“For the future of this country, it is important that the issue of fraud is cleared up, taken care of, and corrected.
“The people of Afghanistan will not accept not being able to decide the future of this country.”
Supporters urged to avoid violence
Afghanistan's election commission’s data shows that it is a near mathematical certainty that Hamid Karzai will be the outright winner of the presidential election in the first round if preliminary results are allowed to stand.
A separate Election Complaints Commission (ECC), mainly appointed by the UN, said Tuesday it had found what it says is "clear and convincing evidence of fraud" and has ordered a partial recount.
But with more than 91% of polling stations counted, Karzai has such a strong lead with 54.6% that even if 400,000 of his ballots were excluded because of fraud, he would still win in a single round.
That lead is expected to widen further when the remaining votes are counted, which are mainly from the southern heartland of his support.
When the ECC concludes its investigations it could well find that while fraud took place, but that it was not on a big enough scale to force a second round, and thus declare Karzai the winner.
However, Abdullah has pledged repeatedly that he will abide by the EEC’s decision, and told FRANCE 24 he was urging his supporters to be patient, abide by the law and avoid violence.
“Our reaction will be in accordance with the law,” he said. “It will be peaceful. It will not lead to violence. We have asked our supporters to remain calm, to be patient, to be responsible and to wait for the legal process to unfold.”
If the ECC eliminates enough ballots for Karzai to push him back below the 50 percent threshold, a second round must be held.
Date created : 2009-09-09