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Presence of observers in vote audit stressed

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election-observersAfghan election observers on Sunday welcomed the audit of all votes, but said the review should be carried out in cooperation with local and international observers for the sake of transparency.


Presidential hopefuls Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani on Saturday reached agreement on ending the electoral impasse and forming a government of national unity -- thanks to diplomatic efforts by the United States and the United Nations.
A flurry of meetings over the past two days between US Secretary of State John Kerry, the two presidential hopefuls, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Jan Kubis and President Hamid Karzai yielded progress in breaking the stalemate.
The vote audit will begin in Kabul within 24 hours. Ballot boxes will be transported from provinces to the central capital by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops. Afghan forces will provide security.
President Hamid Karzai also accepted a joint demand of the two presidential candidates for postponing the inauguration of the new head of state.
Afghan election observers welcomed the development and asked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to announce a new schedule for finalising the vote recount process in presence of Afghan and international observers.
Mohammad Naeem Ayubzada, the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News his foundation welcomed the agreement between Ahmadzai and Abdullah.
If all the tasks performed in line with the agreement, all ballot boxes reached Kabul from provinces on time and Afghan and international observers oversaw the process, then it would be easily to separate fraudulent votes and clean ones.
The Election Watch Organization of Afghanistan (EWA) also hailed the agreement and said it had shared a similar proposal with the international community for ending the deadlock.
EWA spokesman Painda Hikmat Safi said the election process would be successful only when both the candidates remained committed to their agreement.
He said the EWA would oversee the process of recounting of votes across Afghanistan and would share its findings with the media.
Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) spokesman Fahim Naeemi also welcomed the audit of all votes and said the IEC should complete the tasks during a specific time it should announce for the purpose.
He said the agreement reached between the two candidates was legal and would produce positive results.