KABUL: The deadlock between Afghanistan's feuding presidential rivals seems to have been broken after US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday got them to agree to a full audit of every single vote cast in the disputed runoff elections.
After two days of frantic negotiations, Kerry announced on Saturday evening that both Presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Dr Ashraf Ghani, had agreed to the largest most possible audit of votes.
"Both candidates have committed to participate in and stand by the results of the largest most possible audit. Every single ballot that was cast will be audited, all eight million," Kerry said.
Kerry was flanked by Dr Abdullah and Dr Ghani at the UN compound in Kabul, who also said they have agreed with the deal, thanking Kerry for helping them.
"The audit will be carried out in Kabul and will begin in 24 hours. It will start in the ballot boxes located in Kabul," the US Secretary of State said. The press conference was aired live by all major Afghan TV channels and monitored here.
Kerry said the UN mission in Kabul has asked the President to postpone the inaugural of new president. The transfer of power was scheduled on August 2.
Kerry had flown into Kabul late on Friday to mediate an end to the political crisis in Afghanistan, warning that the bitter dispute over presidential polls threatened the country’s future.
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