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Karzai rejects claims deputy rigged presidential polls



Kabul:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday rejected allegations that one of his deputies had orchestrated a fraud against a longtime rival in Afghanistan's recent presidential election.

On Sunday, campaign aides of Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and one of the candidates for president, released an audio recording they said was of Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili encouraging vote-rigging in favour of Ashraf Ghani, the other contender.

Aimal Faizi, Karzai's spokesman, yesterday dismissed the recording as a fake. Khalili's and Ghani's teams also rejected the recording.

"This is a serious threat and violation to someone's security and privacy, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice," Faizi said.
 
Karzai of rigging the vote and favouring Ghani.

The preliminary results of a UN audit show Ghani leading by about a million votes, but Western diplomats say they expect at least a quarter of the votes will be invalidated.

The audit began three weeks ago but has been dogged by delays and squabbling over technicalities, such as how to disqualify votes. On yesterday, the audit picked up pace, as  hundreds of UN observers joined representatives of Ghani and Abdullah in sifting through some eight million votes.

Foreign forces have flown hundreds of flights to bring all the ballots to a central auditing warehouse on the edge of Kabul.


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