Afghan poll crisis: Defense head warns against violence

KABUL, Afghanistan

Amid a raging election crisis, Afghanistan’s defense minister warned on Sunday against sowing violence and chaos in the country.

With the country’s electoral commission weeks behind schedule in announcing the result of the Sep. 28 polls, Assadullah Khalid underlined that security forces would not allow violence to undermine presidential elections.

“The Afghan army is a guarantor of peace […] no one can impose anything that is against the will of the Afghan people,” Khalid stressed, adding that the military would not let the last two decades’ gains “be lost”.

Addressing a conference in Kabul, he underlined that the security forces proved their impartiality during the elections, and that were capable of thwarting plans to undermine the process.

This comes as angry protesters supporting presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah — the power-sharing Chief Executive of President Abdullah Abdullah — have closed down election commission offices in some provinces against the vote recount process while accusing President Ashraf Ghani of fraud.

Abdullah and a number of candidates have already vowed not to accept the polls’ results.

On Nov. 7, the top election body was supposed to have announced the final poll results for the election in which a total of 13 candidates vied for the top seat. However, it is yet to produce preliminary poll results. The election commission is recounting votes in a total of 8,255 disputed polling stations across the country with the aim of determining the preliminary results.
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