No more delays in results acceptable: Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Saturday asked the Independent Election Commission not to delay further the release of preliminary results from the June 14 runoff vote and declare the returns on Monday, a date his rival Abdullah’s camp opposed.
On Thursday, Abdullah’s chief campaigner Baryalai Arsalaee said they would not accept the results if fake and genuine votes cast at 1930 polling stations in 30 provinces had not been told apart.
The IEC delayed announcing the preliminary results by five days until Monday, citing additional probe into ballots cast at 1930 polling sites.
Ghani told reporters in Kabul they accepted the delay for a few days in the national interest but would not accept any more delays.
He asked the IEC to make public the outcome of its technical review of ballots.
Ghani welcomed the audit of votes cast at 1930 polling sites by the IEC, saying the sites contained one million and 20,000 votes and his observers had assured him that of those votes, 800,000 votes had no problem.
“The IEC has completed several investigations in line with the established rules. The commission has carried out two additional probes and has embarked on a third probe. Now is the time to handover the affairs to the complaints commission in order it investigate complaints of all nature,” the candidate said.
Ghani said his team had submitted complaints with relevant documents and evidence to the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) so that they could be openly addressed, asking his rival to respect the electoral bodies’ decisions.
The former finance minister also ruled out a coalition government with his rival Abdullah, quashing hopes for a power-sharing deal to defuse tensions.
Ghani explicitly denied he sought a coalition government. "People are concerned and the question they have been asking is if we have made any deal. Our answer is clear: we have not made any deal. We assure the people that we will not betray their votes," Ghani said.
"Our commitment is to defend national interests, not personal interests." Ghani's aides, citing election observers, say he is in the lead in the run-off by at least one million votes.
Abdullah has accused president Karzai of playing a role in the alleged rigging in Ghani's favour, and last week thousands of Abdullah's supporters marched on the presidential palace in a peaceful protest.
"The uncertainty has resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollar in investment...Deals are suspended because the future is uncertain," Ghani said.
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