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Afghanistan on the brink of major crisis

July 11, 2014, 16:35 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, July 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The situation in Afghanistan, where a presidential candidate refuses to recognize the victory of his rival, has escalated to the limits. The country is on the brink of a major crisis, experts warn.

Earlier this week, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced preliminary results, where in the run-off, Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai gained 56.44% of votes. The country’s Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, winner of the first round, was behind by about one million votes — he was supported by 44% of the electorates.

Abdullah Abdullah claimed many violations during the election campaign and refused to recognize the defeat. He announced himself the winner and threatened with organization of a “parallel government” in the country - a dual power.

IEC’s head, however, said he was not ready to name the official winner, as the commission would have to review about three million ballots with doubtful validity.

Ghani has announced the organization of the national accord government, while his opponent is taking his allies to the streets.

The situation is especially complicated since Ghani is a Pashtu, and Abdullah - half Tajik, thus an ethnic conflict seems quite probable in the future. The only party which may benefit from the conflict is the Taliban movement, which is in fact the only one to count on the nationwide agenda, though specific one - radical Islam.

The international community is concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. The United Nations have supported IEC’s decision to review three of the eight million ballots, but stressed time mattered there.

The US Secretary of State John Carry has arrived in Kabul on Friday, where he will have a meeting with the country’s President Hamid Karzai, as well as with Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Washington fears the dispute between the candidates may develop into an armed conflict as the American contingent leaves Afghanistan by the yearend.

“The situation in Afghanistan is entering a new phase: the country is on the edge of a major military-political crisis, which may result in unpredictable consequences,” Director of Russia’s Center for Studies of Modern Afghanistan Omar Nessar told ITAR-TASS.

The expert is sure not all chances to reach consensus are lost now, and positions of the world’s countries are “encouraging".

The situation in Afghanistan, he continues, is so unclear that it is almost impossible to offer any forecasts. It is tough to say who will become the country’s president in the long run. Abdullah enjoys support from big forces in central and northern regions, while the administrative power supports Ghani, the expert says.

“There are still chances they will reach an agreement and there will be preconditions for a coalition government,” Nessar said.

President of Russia’s Institute for Middle East Studies Eugene Satanovsky is sure Afghanistan “will split anyway". “Probably now the process will develop quicker and with bigger problems,” he said. “As the Americans quit, it would not matter who is Afghanistan’s president. In the Pashtu regions, the power will go to the Taliban. As the missing candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, is half Tajik, he will most probably control the country’s Tajik northern part," Satanovsky said.


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