Kerry Tells Afghanistan to Pump the Brakes on Election Results
With the results of Afghanistan's presidential elections still under dispute, Secretary of State John Kerry met with both candidates on Friday to discuss the crisis.
With the results of Afghanistan's presidential elections still under dispute, Secretary of State John Kerry met with both candidates on Friday to discuss the crisis. And according to the Wall Street Journal report on the meeting, Kerry told both candidates — who have already declared victory — that it's too early for a winner.
Before his meeting with Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani, Kerry had this to say:
"No one is declaring victory at this time. The results have yet to be finalized, and so those questions have to be resolved, and I'm very appreciative that Dr. Ghani respects that...We obviously have high hopes that the questions about the election will be resolved quickly, can be resolved, and that a way forward can take place that can give Afghans confidence that they have a presidency and a government that is capable of unifying all Afghans and building a road to the future."
Based on preliminary results, Ghani was leading the contest after a second round of voting. However, as the BBC reported, both Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah have claimed that the voting was tainted by fraud. Ghani called for an audit of the results following his meeting with Kerry. A final tally of the votes have not yet been released. Reuters notes that the U.S. is urging Afghanistan to hold off on releasing those numbers until an audit can be completed.