UN Warns Against Further
Delays In Afghan Vote Audit
July 31, 2014
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
The United Nations has urged both Afghan presidential
candidates to fully engage in the audit of election ballots, which
restarts on August 2.
Jan Kubis, the top UN official in Afghanistan, said on July 31
the audit was important to "complete the process of the
elections," and that "any delays, any uncertainties have a major,
negative impact on both the political and economic situation in
The audit of the approximately eight million votes cast in the
June 14 second round of the presidential election was halted last
weekend due to technical differences.
Election officials said the two candidates, Ashraf Ghani and
Abdullah Abdullah, had finally agreed on how the audit would
separate fraudulent ballots from genuine ones.
Originally plans called for inaugurating the new on president
on August 2 but that has been postponed to as yet unspecified
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
Kerry urges Abdullah and Ghani
to work cooperatively on critical issues
Khaama Press / July 31, 2014
The US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the presidential
contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to
work cooperatively on the critical issues facing Afghanistan as
Kerry, in an op-ed published by Tolonews, appealed to both
candidates to translate the broader power-sharing agreement they
reached with him earlier this month into a strong working
relationship in the new government, “whoever wins.”
“The time for politics is over. The time for cooperation is at
hand. There is no time to waste,” Kerry wrote.
The agreement to form a national unity government was reached
between the two candidates following talks brokered by Kerry
earlier this month.
The visit by Kerry to Kabul last month, came amid fears that
the disputed presidential election could endanger the stability of
Kerry also responded to concerns regarding the formation of
parliamentary system in Afghanistan, and conflicting reports
suggesting that the winning president will have little power over
a new prime minister or vice versa.
He wrote, “I was there in the room, and I can tell you what is
not in that one-page document. “It respects Afghan institutions
and the role of the president as the head of government. It does
not establish a parliamentary system.”
Kerry said, “It creates a new position of chief executive who
will report to the president until the president convenes a loya
jirga to determine whether a permanent change is in the best
interests of the country.”
“What the agreement does provide is a critical opportunity for
both candidates to move beyond political competition to real
statesmanship,” Kerry, said adding that, “Every democracy reaches
a decisive moment where the interests of the country must outweigh
the interests of politicians. Afghanistan is at that critical
Pakistan fires 118 rockets in
Khaama Press / July 31, 2014
The Pakistani military fired at least 118 rockets in eastern
Kunar province of Afghanistan, local officials said.
The officials further added that the shelling started on
Wednesday night from the other side of the Durand line.
Provincial security chief, Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel, said the
rockets landed in Shegal, Dangam and Marwara districts.
Gen. Syed Khel confirmed that no casualties were incurred to
the local residents, but some houses and other properties were
damaged following the shelling.
Cross-border attacks have been the main source of diplomatic
tensions between the two countries, with Islamabad and Kabul
regularly complaining to each other about the incursions.
The Pakistani officials claim that many Pakistani Taliban
including their chief Mullah Fazlullah are based in the Kunar and
Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan and regularly carry out attacks
on Pakistani check posts.
Pakistan on Wednesday lodged a strong protest with Afghanistan
regarding an alleged cross-border attack by terrorists from the
Afghan soil and summoned Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires.
However, the Afghan officials rejected Pakistani claims that
the attack on Pakistani check posts were carried out militants who
crossed the border from the Afghan soil.
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