Abdullah Abdullah, the Afghan presidential contender is threatening to boycott a ballot audit from the country’s disputed presidential runoff, one of his top aides said Tuesday, a development that could further disrupt the already troubled process.
To end the impasse, a deal was brokered for an audit of all eight million votes to remove fraudulent ballots, and for the formation of a national unity government under whoever becomes the next president.
On Tuesday, Abdullah’s team said the United Nations had until Wednesday to accept their demands to widen the criteria for identifying and discarding ballots deemed fraudulent from a June run-off vote.
“If our demands are not accepted, we will announce the end of this process,” said the chief auditor for the candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, Fazel Ahmad Manawi. “This process will not be acceptable to us and the result will not have any value.”
There was no immediate statement from the Ghani campaign in response to Mr. Manawi’s withdrawal threat.
Observers from both Abdullah’s and Ahmadzai campaign teams have observed the process, sometimes arguing intensely over issues such as whether unfolded ballot papers should be thrown out or whether check marks on ballots are too similar, a possible indication of fraud.