MOSCOW, July 08. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Tuesday on both presidential candidates in Afghanistan to refrain from any steps, which could aggravate the situation in the Central Asian country, and wait until the final results of the recently held presidential election runoff would be announced later in the month.
Late on Tuesday night, the Independent Election Commission announced the preliminary results of the second round of the presidential election held in Afghanistan on June 14, stating that Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai gained 56.44% of votes and won the runoff, as former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah secured 43.56% of votes.
However, according to Agence France-Presse reports on Tuesday, Abdullah refused to accept the preliminary results and declared himself the winner of the presidential election, while thousands of his supporters hit the streets of the country’s capital Kabul voicing their disapproval over the alleged ballot rigging.
“We hope that the situation with the presidential election will be resolved peacefully,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement addressed to the presidential candidates. “It is necessary that the results (of the voting) are accepted by the majority of the population and main political forces in Afghanistan.”
“In light of the developing situation, we call on the both candidates to wait until the final results of the voting, which are planned to be announced on July 22,” the statement added.
Abdullah had refused to recognize the results of the voting and demanded that the Independent Election Commission’s statement on the results be revoked allegedly due to mass violations at the polling stations.
Abdullah also accused former President Khamid Karzai of facilitating the alleged ballot rigging in favor of Ahmadzai.
Karzai, who ruled the troubled Central Asian country since December 2004, was not running in the elections as the constitution did not allow him to run for a third term of office.
The final results of the election were scheduled to be announced on July 22, and the inauguration is slated to be held on August 2.
The first round of the presidential election in Afghanistan on April 5 was monitored by a total of 325,000 local and foreign observers. Despite bad weather and the threat of terrorist attacks, the turnout at the national elections totalled 58% or around seven million people.