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Roundup: Votes auditing of Afghan presidential elections again postponed
KABUL, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The auditing process of votes cast in the Afghan presidential elections was once again postponed on Saturday as observers from presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah didn't attend the recounting process, local media reported.
According to officials with the election commission, it was scheduled to resume auditing of the votes at 07:00 a.m. local time on Saturday but the plan has been postponed.
Officials with the election commission have yet to make comment on resuming the auditing process. However, some sources expect that the process would be resumed within the next 24 hours.
An online statement released by Abdullah's team pointed out that their observers won't attend the auditing process until negotiations with the UN and concerned parties are concluded.
A spokesman with Abdullah's team in talks with the local television Tolo hoped that UN would take into account his suggestions with the auditing process and ensure transparency in one or two days.
Meanwhile, Daud Sultanzoi, a spokesman for Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdullah's contender in the race, in talks with Tolo slammed the absence of Abdullah's observers.
This is the fourth time since the beginning of the votes recounting and auditing on July 17 that the process has been suspended.
Nilab Mubariz, a spokesperson for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), expressed concern over the delay of vote auditing and said any suspension in the auditing process would damage the interest of those who cast votes in the presidential polls.
Afghanistan's third presidential elections since the fall of Taliban regime in late 2001 was held on April 5 wherein Abdullah and Ghani Ahmadzai emerged as front runners and entered the runoff.
The runoff vote was held on June 14, during which Ghani Ahmadzai secured 56.44 percent of more than 8 million votes and Abdullah, who stood first in the first round, had garnered 43.56 percent of the votes.
Abdullah rejected the outcome of the polls, accusing the election commission of committing fraud and vowed not to accept the election results unless his demands for recounting and separating the genuine votes from the fake ones are met.
To end the election deadlock, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UNAMA begun mediation between the two candidates and have convinced them to accept the results after a vote auditing process.
Under the agreement brokered by Kerry, the candidate securing more votes will become the president and the other candidate would become chief executive, a post tantamount to premier in the new government.
Xinhua is China's state-run news agency.
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