Amid growing calls for the early completion of the election process, President Hamid Karzai and his deputies met the presidential contenders on Sunday.
The meeting at the Presidential Palace was aimed to take the contenders into confidence on stepping up the slow-paced vote count, a statement from Karzai’s office said.
Karzai reiterated his administration was ready for the new leader’s swearing-in ceremony on Sept. 2. He urged Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani to help accelerate efforts to conclude the process.
The president argued the prolonged process was having a negative impact on the masses, governance and other sectors, especially security and the economy.
Vice-Presidents Mohammad Yunus Qanuni, Karim Khalili, Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Usmani and National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta also attended the meeting.