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Iran Press TV

Afghanistan needs new president: Karzai

Iran Press TV

Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:58PM GMT

Afghanistan's outgoing president Hamid Karzai says the country needs a new president and the conclusion to the vote audit process should be determined as soon as possible.

Karzai said during a speech marking the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday on Monday that Afghans 'want to have an outcome to the election as soon as possible, so that ... [Afghanistan] can have its president soon.'

He also asked the Taliban to join the country's peace process and stop killing other Afghans, adding, 'I call upon the leaders of the Taliban to stop fighting Afghans, I call on them to live in peace and dignity with their brothers and sisters.'

The comments by Karzai comes after Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) suspended the auditing process of nearly 8 million votes for the third time on Saturday over disagreements on the procedure for invalidating votes. The IEC attributed the decision to the failure of the two presidential rivals to agree upon a procedure for invalidating votes.

According to reports, the auditing is due to resume on Tuesday after the holiday.

Preliminary results from the June 14 runoff showed that Ashraf Ghani won the election with 56.44 percent of the votes, while Abdullah Abdullah came second with 43.56 percent. More than eight million voters out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million participated in the election.

However, Abdullah rejected the initial results as unacceptable and fraudulent, alleging that he was the victim of "industrial-scale" ballot-box stuffing, with many more votes than the voters registered in some areas.

Later on, both candidates agreed to an internationally monitored audit and pledged to stand by the eventual result of the audit.

HRM/AB



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