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Eide urges swift resolution on Afghan vote

Sept. 22, 2009 at 4:56 PM   |   Comments

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Cooperation between the two Afghan election bodies is "essential" for the country to realize a credible outcome to the Aug. 20 vote, a top U.N. official said.

Kai Eide, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, described cooperation between the Afghan Electoral Complaints Commission and the Independent Election Commission as vital to the democratic process.

"This cooperation between the ECC and IEC is essential for achieving a credible outcome to this election," he said.

The U.N.-backed ECC ordered a partial recount of roughly 10 percent of the polling stations in the country Sept. 15, citing widespread evidence of fraud. The election watchdog in an earlier decision discounted the vote tallies from more than 80 polling centers because of fraud concerns.

The IEC, meanwhile, announced incumbent President Hamid Karzai was the unofficial victor in the elections, taking more than 50 percent of the national vote.

Eide called on the two electoral bodies to work swiftly and transparently to resolve the outcome of the vote in a manner that reflected the will of the Afghan people.

"The Afghan people need to know the outcome of this election without undue delay, including the decision on whether a runoff vote is required," he said.

Discounting the fraudulent votes would put Karzai in a possible runoff against his closest challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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