With all votes counted in the disputed Afghanistan election, incumbent President Ashraf Ghani was elected for a second term according to the results released by the country’s election commission.
His nearest rival, Abdullah Abdullah, has called for a complete recount of the vote, citing widespread evidence of voter fraud. This has prompted Ghani to call for Abdullah’s withdrawal.
The country’s election commission said that over 8 million Afghans had voted in Sunday’s election, and turnout was higher than in past elections — over 65 percent. According to the Associated Press, over 20 percent of votes were cast in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.
The Afghan Election Complaints Commission (ECC) is investigating all potential election irregularities. There have been several similar allegations in the country’s past — both at the local and national level.
Abdullah was considered the front-runner and until last week, his supporters claimed that even if he did not win, they would still work with Ghani to ensure a democratic government. The dispute over who won Sunday’s election is just the latest example of how close Afghanistan remains to war.
The first round of voting was scheduled for April 2017, but it was delayed after Abdullah failed to muster enough support to win it outright. An emergency runoff election was then held after neither candidate received more than 50 percent.
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