KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The United Nations said Wednesday it is committed to completing the task of supervising Afghanistan's presidential vote audit despite the withdrawal of the two candidates from the process.
Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have both claimed victory in the June run-off presidential election and have also agreed to serve together in a national unity government, but have not yet agreed to the terms for doing so.
Nicholas Haysom, the U.N. secretary-general's deputy special representative to Afghanistan, told reporters in Kabul on Wednesday that the candidates' "withdrawal is regrettable, but will not disrupt the completion of a robust and credible audit that will, within the bounds of the possible, deliver a result that Afghan citizens can have confidence in."
The audit was agreed to last month, and will determine which candidate from the June 14 run-off election succeeds President Hamid Karzai. Preliminary election results showed former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani in the lead with 56.44 percent of the vote, and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah trailing behind with 43.56 percent.