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Presidential candidates’ rivalry likely to destabilise Afghanistan — Russian FM

September 11, 2014, 19:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Rivalry of the presidential candidates in Afghanistan is likely to destabilize the country, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

“All are closely watching the situation around the recent presidential elections in Afghanistan,” Alexander Lukashevich said. “On September 4, the audit of all votes cast in the [June] run-off was completed.”

“An independent commission is busy examining the complaints presented by both candidates. Simultaneously, they are holding talks on division of powers in the would-be government of national unity,” he said. “The concern is growing about the voting results, if announced without achieved political agreements, could destabilize Afghanistan.”

On June 14, the run-off in Afghanistan’s presidential election took place, sharpening the stand-off between the two candidates — former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.

The candidates refused to recognize the outcome accusing each other of fraud. An audit of disputable votes was finished but it failed to bring to an end the presidential race officially started on February 1.

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