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Govt.’s post-election political legitimacy in tatters

19 Feb 2020 Afghanistan Times

Election reflects a ‘blatant’ interference of foreigners; argues Karzai A pre- and post-election political divide is symbolic of a deeper crisis amid an opposition challenge of the poll results and an impending threat of a ‘parallel state’, which highlights urgency of a reconciliation AT News KABUL: In the wake of President Ghani’s re-election in the 2019 polls, former president Hamid Karzai said Wednesday that the election was imposed by foreigners on the Afghan nation and that circumstances were never plausible for a credible and transparent vote. Karzai, in a statement, said the 2019 presidential poll was not a nation-wide process and that it was imposed on the people, reflected a domestic political fragmentation and blatant intervention of outsiders who seek to implement their intentions. “Election process fundamentally serves foreign agendas which seek to crumble Afghanistan’s national sovereignty and to fuel a political divide and tarnish our unity,” he said. In the light of past five months of election stalemate, an opposition of the election outcome has so far been inevitable, said Karzai, urging all political and social forces to unite and contribute to peace in earnest. “Nation should be united more than ever for nationalization of the peace process so as to restore stability and durable peace,” he said. After months of painstaking audit and recount, Independent Election Commission on Tuesday declared incumbent president Ashraf Ghani as the winner of the 2019 contested presidential elections with 50.64% of the vote. The final result puts Abdullah at 39.52%. The result of the September 28 presidential poll audit had been delayed due to allegations of fraud, and the saga seems highly likely to continue with Ghani’s main challenger Abdullah declaring himself the winner of the disputed vote. Abdullah rejected the audit results, arguing the result is ‘devoid of legitimacy’, touting it as the outcome of ‘stealing the election’, a ‘coup d’état against democracy’ and a ‘treason in the nation’s trust’. On Tuesday night, he publicly declared himself the winner of September’s disputed vote.

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