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Abdullah’s running mates hint at ‘parallel govt.’

Staunch supporters of trailing candidate Abdullah are sticking to their guns to form their own government, claiming victory in crisis-hit poll, if final official results legitimise his rival Ashraf Ghani’s lead

AT News

KABUL: A devoted supporter of the presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, Hezb-i-Wahdat Islami Party led by Karim Khalili has announced plans to form a parallel government if final results of the presidential election would give lead to frontrunner Ashraf Ghani.

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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