Avoid provocative actions, US urges candidates
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States has urged the presidential candidates to cooperate fully with officials of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and refrain from provocative actions or statements.
Reiterating the US did not support any individual, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the Obama administration had long stated its support for a credible, transparent, and inclusive process that was broadly backed by the people and produced a president who could govern effectively.
“We call on all sides to work toward this goal and to avoid steps that undermine national unity. The continued support of the United States for Afghanistan requires that Afghanistan remains united and that the result of this election is deemed credible,” she said.
“We call upon both campaigns and their supporters to cooperate with these audits and to refrain from provocative statements or actions. As the Commission made clear, these results are not final and neither candidate should claim victory on the basis of this announcement,” Psaki said.
“It is especially important that both campaigns send agents to observe the audit process. We believe that UN recommended audit process, provided it begins immediately, can be completed in time to allow the inauguration of the next President to proceed as scheduled on August 2,” she said hours after the IEC declared preliminary election results in Kabul.
The United States, she said, reaffirms its support for a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan and for the Afghan election process. We have seen today’s announcement of preliminary results and note that these figures are not final or authoritative and may not predict the final outcome, which could still change based on the findings of the Afghan electoral bodies. Serious allegations of fraud have been raised and have yet to be adequately investigated,” she added.
Noting that the United Nations, invited by President Hamid Karzai and both candidates to facilitate the process, has proposed a series of additional audits of suspect ballots, and that other measures have been under discussion, Psaki said IEC statement said four additional measures have been accepted by both camps.
“Those measures affect more than 7,000 ballot boxes, and potentially more than 3 million ballots. It is essential that the IEC work with the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission and the United Nations to execute the UN proposed audits and to answer all the legitimate questions raised by the two campaigns and independent observers,” she said.
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