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Abdullah’s allies toughen rhetoric for ‘parallel government’

AT News

KABUL: Allies of the presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah have ratcheted up their rhetoric for announcing a ‘parallel state’ if the outcome of the election is riddled with fraud giving lead to his rival Ashraf Ghani.

Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan and Islamic Movement of Afghanistan political parties have announced their support to recent remarks made by first vice president Genera Dostum vis-à-vis forming a parallel government if final official results declare Ashraf Ghani as the president.

A staunch supporter of trailing candidate Abdullah, Gen. Dustom said last week that a government established through fraud will be unacceptable, warning that they will establish their own government led by Dr. Abdullah.

The two political fronts urged the election commissions to unambiguously announce the results in concert with the clean votes of the nation.

Preliminary results announced in December showed that Ashraf Ghani won the September 28 presidential election, but his rival Abdullah Abdullah immediately rejected the outcome, saying the vote was marred by widespread fraud.

Abdullah’s another running mate and the incumbent first vice president, General Dustom, also announced plans for a parallel state if election results are riddled with fraud.

Threats to form a parallel government marks an escalation of tension amid fears that deadlock over fraud allegations could send the country into a violent spiral – a scenario that once happened in the controversial 2014 race for presidency that gave birth the government of national unity through a disconcerting American intervention.

In a statement, Karim Khalili said, “If election authority announces a flawed government having emerged from fraud, we will have to announce a national government led by Abdullah Abdullah – in deference to people’s will and valid votes.”

This is as Abdullah himself announced earlier this week that fraud-mired election results won’t be acceptable and that his camp will stand against fraudulent government. Fazl Ahmad Manawi, a senior member of Abdullah’s camp, said the election commission was not even doing the bare minimum the complaints panel has told it to, “and even baulking at our exhortations and reservations”.

This is as the election commission has begun a recount of contested ballots. Manawi believes that their camp has played by all rules, but it will swerve left and use any means possible to reverse the flawed outcome of election.

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