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Rassoul also lends his weight to Abdullah

Rassoul also lends his weight to Abdullah

May 11, 2014 - 11:17

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok):  Presidential runner and ex-foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul and his election team on Sunday formally joined forces with former rival Dr Abdullah Abdullah.

Addressing a joint press conference with his one-time political foe in Kabul, Rassoul said he had swung behind Abdullah to balance the political situation and strengthen national unity.

Rassoul added he made the decision after consulting his team and majority of supporters agreed with the move. Others belonging to political parties did not show any interest.

His first vice-president did not participate in the news conference but his second-vice president, Habiba Sarabi, was present.

The Hezb-I-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon Council, which previously supported Rassoul, joined another presidential candidate, Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, on Friday.

Rassoul said the objective behind his joining hands with Abdullah was to narrow down tribal differences in the elections.

For his part, Abdullah welcomed the decision, saying it was in line with popular aspirations. He pledged to honour the promises he had held out to the Afghans and Rassoul. But he did not go into details.

Similarly, he asked the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to discharge its responsibilities in a transparent manner and in accordance with the law. The watchdog had shown weaknesses during the election process, he claimed, without elaborating.

With reference to the possible runoff vote, the leading runner said some of his election complaints were yet to be addressed. He did not explain the nature of complaints.

The preliminary results announced on April 26 put Abdullah in the lead with 44.9 percent of votes, followed by Dr Ashraf Ghani with 31.5 percent. Rassoul won only 11.5 percents of the ballots cast




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