MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah following tense negotiations has agreed to join the audit of votes cast in the June runoff election, Agence France Presse reported Sunday quoting UN officials.
Abdullah's team "has informed the United Nations that it will... resume its participation in the audit process tomorrow," a statement by the UN read.
Earlier on Sunday, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) resumed the recounting process without observers representing candidate Abdullah.
The audit was initially scheduled for Saturday but the process stalled after Abdullah’s representatives said they would not show up at the election commission. The team later released a statement saying they would be ready to join the audit only after negotiations with the United Nations and other parties involved are finalized.
The main issue hindering the recounting process is disqualification of fraudulent ballots.
Candidate Abdullah insists the entire box should be disqualified if some of the votes in it are found invalid, whereas the UN wants to discard individual votes.
Preliminary results for the Afghanistan elections were released on July 7 showing former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani had claimed victory garnering 56 percent of the votes. Presidential contender, Abdullah Abdullah, a Taliban resistance fighter, claimed there was fraud and called the results «a coup against the people’s votes." He announced his intention to form his own government, despite the election results.
During his visit to Kabul last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry brokered a deal paving the way for a full audit of votes. The process, however, has already been suspended several times.