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Address concerns of individual candidates: Kerry to Karzai

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Karzai-and-KerryIn view of the allegations of electoral fraud, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on Tuesday called the President, Hamid Karzai, urging him to take measures to address the concerns of the individual candidates.


“Kerry called Afghan President Hamid Karzai today to reaffirm US support for the Afghan election process, and to urge measures to address the concerns of individual candidates,” a state department spokesperson, Marie Harf said adding that Kerry stressed the importance of national unity and a peaceful political process.
“He welcomed the steps taken by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to begin to audit ballots throughout the country and encouraged the IEC to conduct a full and thorough review that ensures the Afghan people have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process,” she said.
“While the United States does not support any individual candidate, we have long stated our support for a credible, transparent and inclusive process that is broadly supported by the Afghan people and which produces a president who can govern the country,” the spokesperson said.
The United States call on all sides to work toward this goal and to avoid steps that undermine national unity, the spokesperson added.
Earlier, the State Department urged Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzaiand Abdullah Abdullah to remain engaged with IEC.
“We know there’s a process here, and we have urged both sides to remain engaged with the electoral institutions who can ensure that all allegations of fraud are – brought to them are given careful and impartial review and adjudication,” Marie Harf said.
“There are legal mechanisms for going through, receiving, investigating, and adjudicating these complaints, and we think that’s an important process, even if it takes some time.  So what we’ve said is throughout this process, we want both sides to remain engaged with it, to be talking to the electoral institutions to help work this out.  We know it may take some time, though,” she said in response to a question.
Harf refrained from answering questions on electoral fraud. “Do you have any evidence yourself to back the allegations of fraud?” she was asked. “I don’t want to make a judgment one way or the other.  It’s really up to their electoral institutions to go through all of that,” she said.

Source:Pajhwok news agency