World / Asia-Pacific

Karzai: New Afghan president by end of August

By Xinhua in Kabul (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-18 07:27

As the recounting of votes cast in the June 14 Afghan presidential runoff continues, President Hamid Karzai said that this militancy-plagued country should have a new president and new government by the end of August.

At a news conference in Kabul on Sunday, Noor Mohammad Noor, spokesman for the Afghan election commission, said that the counting of 45 percent of the votes cast in the second round of the presidential election on June 14 had been completed.

"So far 10,231 ballot boxes or 45 percent of the whole ballot boxes have been recounted," Noor said at a news conference here.

The total number of ballot boxes used in the Afghan presidential runoff is 22,828, he said, adding the recounting process is continuing and the election commission would do its best to complete the auditing and recounting process of the votes at its earliest.

The recounting of the votes cast on June 14 began on July 17 during which the chairman of election commission Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani promised to complete the process within three to four weeks.

However, the prolonged election process and slow recounting will take more time than expected.

Abdullah Abdullah or Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai would succeed the outgoing president when the election results are announced.

Amid the ongoing vote recounting and auditing process, Karzai has called for announcing the election results and the formation of a new government by the end of the month.

Karzai, in meeting with some professors of Kabul universities on Thursday at the Presidential Palace, expressed concern over the prolonged process of the presidential election, saying a delay in the election process would affect the security situation of the country and living conditions of the people, a statement released by his office said.

Karzai also said that the result of the presidential election should be announced as per schedule and Afghanistan should have a new president and new government by the end of August.

(China Daily 08/18/2014 page11)

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