KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah announced Friday he has agreed to allow a ballot recount in provinces where his supporters had stopped the process for almost a month.
Abdullah, who serves as the country’s chief executive in a fragile national unity government with President Ashraf Ghani, addressed the media following a conference with supporters. He said he won’t accept any election result until all fake ballots are removed.
The Afghan Election Commission tried to launch a ballot recount in November but Abdullah halted the attempt, saying he wouldn’t let his observers participate.
Afghanistan’s election and election complaint commissions had repeatedly requested that Abdullah’s supporters allow the ballot recount process to move forward and promised to release results based on valid ballots.
The Sept. 28 election has been mired in controversy. Rivals Ghani and Abdullah, are the top candidates.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Abdullah would send any of his observers to take part in the recount process.
A date to announce preliminary election results was still not clear on Friday but if no candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote, a second round of voting will be held.
Ghani and Abdullah head a fragile national unity government that was put together under U.S. pressure after both leaders claimed victory in Afghanistan’s last elections in 2014.