Wed, 11 Dec 2019

The preliminary results from Afghanistan's presidential election have been postponed for a second time, election officials say, a new delay that is likely to fuel more political uncertainty and fraud allegations.

Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said on November 13 that the results will not be announced the next day as planned due to 'technical problems and other issues.'

The postponement marks a further blow to an already delayed tally in a crucial election for the south Asian country as it tries to quell multiple insurgencies, with the help of U.S. and other foreign troops, and recover from decades of conflict.

The election was held on September 28. Preliminary results were initially due on October 19 but later postponed until November 14.

Incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and his main challenger, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, have each claimed victory in the election and accused the other of vote-rigging.

The new delay comes shortly after the IEC announced it had to stop a planned recount and audit of the votes in order to 'handle the complaints and objections of electoral teams and political parties.'

On November 10, Abdullah withdrew his team of observers from the recount, and his followers have blocked vote recounts in several provinces, sometimes by force.

Other candidates have also voiced concern over voter fraud.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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