Afghan election audit disrupted

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iol pic wld EPA afghan-election-recount EPA Afghan electoral officials recount ballots at a voting station in Kabul. Picture: Hedayatullah Amid

Kabul - Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah withdrew observers from a UN-supervised audit of votes on Wednesday, a member of his team said, after threatening to pull out of a deal to resolve the deadlocked election a day earlier.

“We boycotted the audit process today because it does not gave any value for us. Let them carry on,” said Fazel Ahmad Manawi, Abdullah's chief auditor.

The audit is part of a US-brokered deal between Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, both of whom claim to have won the election that was hoped would usher in Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power.

The crisis over the outcome of the vote has raised the spectre of another round of war in Afghanistan, already torn apart by decades of fighting.

A UN spokesman confirmed there had been a “temporary disruption” to the process but declined to elaborate.

On Tuesday, Abdullah's team said the United Nations had until Wednesday to accept its demands to widen the criteria for identifying and discarding ballots deemed fraudulent from the June run-off vote. - Reuters

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