Afghanistan’s Abdullah Rejects Election Outcome

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said Monday that he will not accept the expected official results of the election,injecting new tension into an already drawn-out political process.

Appearing tired and nervous, Abdullah told a nationally broadcast news conference that he believes he won both times Afghans voted this year — in April and again in a June runoff. He accused election authorities of violating the desires of voters by ignoring widespread fraud and preparing to declare his opponent, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the winner.

“We were the winners of the election,” said Abdullah. “We are the winners of the election based on the real vote of the people.”

Abdullah’s announcement effectively pre-empts the country’s election commission, which is expected to announce the second-round results later this week following a weeks-long audit process. The winner would succeed outgoing president, Hamid Karzai.

Abdullah and Ghani Ahmadzai had both pledged to Secretary of State to abide by the audit’s results. The two agreed to plans to form a national unity government with the losing side.

That second agreement also remains in peril. Abdullah said the talks are deadlocked over how powerful to make a newly created position of government chief executive.