Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

  • Live: Pro-Palestinian protest staged in Paris under tight security

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

© Shah Marai, AFP | US Secretary of State John Kerry (centre) and Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani (left) and Abdullah Abdullah (right)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-12

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Saturday that the two candidates in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential run-off have agreed to a full audit of every single ballot cast in the vote.

"Both candidates have committed to participate in and stand by the results of the largest most possible audit. Every single ballot that was cast will be audited, all eight million," Kerry said at a news conference.

The secretary of state made the announcement following two days of intense negotiations between the two candidates, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, in the Afghan capital Kabul. Kerry also met with the country’s President Hamid Karzai, who will eventually step down after 13 years in power.

The two candidates have been locked in an acrimonious dispute ever since the June 14 run-off. Preliminary results from the vote put Ghani in the lead, but Abdullah alleged the election had been marred by fraud, declaring himself the winner.

The pair have not met in person since the vote, but Kerry managed to bring both men together at a UN compound in central Kabul for the news conference announcing the audit.

'Both candidates have agreed to abide by the results of the audit,' Kerry says

“This is the strongest possible signal by both candidates of the desire to restore legitimacy to the process,” Kerry said, flanked by the two men.

In a show of unity, Ghani kissed Abdullah on the cheek after addressing reporters.

Kerry said the audit, which will be carried out in Kabul, was to begin within 24 hours, with NATO and Afghan forces transporting ballot boxes to the capital. He stressed that the audit would be conducted in accordance with the highest international standards, adding that it could take weeks to complete.

"The winner will serve as president and will immediately form a government of national unity," Kerry told reporters.

Karzai later said that he welcomed the news of the audit.

“I welcome those announcements and I hope that the 100 percent audit of the votes will take place and start as soon as possible,” he said.

Kerry said Karzai was “willing to stay the course” until an inauguration for his successor could be held. The swearing-in ceremony was originally scheduled for August 2.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-07-12

  • AFGHANISTAN – US

    Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Afghanistan’s Abdullah claims victory in contested poll

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Ghani 'leads Abdullah' in presidential run-off

    Read more

COMMENT(S)