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“No Less than a Miracle”: Afghanistan's Next President is… Ashraf Ghani?
Written by Samea Shanori On 7 July 2014 @ 17:58 pm | No Comments
In Afghanistan, Citizen Media, Elections, English, Politics
If preliminary results are to be believed — a big ‘if’ given his opponent's stormy statements on voter fraud– Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is likely to become Afghanistan's next elected president. Afghanistan's International Electoral Commission (IEC) stated  today that eight million votes were cast in a tension-filled runoff between former Finance Minister Ghani and Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah on June 16.
Currently Dr. Ghani, a Pashtun, is in the lead with 56% of votes, a margin Abdullah Abdullah, a part-Pashtun, part-Tajik popular among Afghanistan's non-Pashtun ethnic groups is unlikely to overturn, despite having led Ghani in the first round by 14 percentage points. As BBC Persian journalist Jamal Mousavi tweeted [fa]:
بر اساس نتایج ابتدایی اشرف غنی احمد زی با 56 درصد آراء رییس جمهور بعدی #افغانستان  است، نتایج هنوز نهایی نیست
— Jamal Mousavi (@Jamal_Mousavi) July 7, 2014 
According to the preliminary result of the elections, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with 56% of the votes is in the lead for Afghanistan's next presidency. Results are not final yet.
Still, Ghani's supporters have already started congratulating the winner. Lutfullah Stanikzai's tweet reads:
— Lutfullah Stanikzai (@LutfullahSaWayi) July 7, 2014 
Predictably, Abdullah Abdullah's spokesman has announced that they are not accepting the results. TOLO News tweeted:
Spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah live on TOLOnews says they do not accept the results announced this evening by the IEC. #Afghanistan 
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) July 7, 2014 
Dr. Abdullah's supporters are condemning what his campaign team has called “industrial-scale fraud”. An Abdullah supporter Yar Mohabbat raged [fa]:
اﻋﻼﻥ ﻧﺘﺎﻳﺞ ﺗﻘﻠﺒﻲ ﻣﺸﺮﻭﻋﻴﺖ ﻧﺪاﺭﺩ. ﺭﻳﺲ ﺟﻤﻬﻮﺭ ﺗﻘﻠﺒﻲ, ﺭﻳﺲ ﺟﻤﻬﻮﺭ ﻣﻦ ﻧﻴﺴﺖ.
— Yar Mohabbat (@ymohabbat) July 7, 2014 
Announcing result of fraud elections is not acceptable. Fraud president is not my president.
While another Abdullah supporter, Aziz Taheer, questioned the legitimacy of the vote count:
The 150% increase in Dr. Ghani's vote count against all the odds in just 2 months is no less than a miracle. #AfghanElections 
— Aziz Taheer (@azizTaheer) July 7, 2014 
Kabul resident Haider Sediqi, responding to a question posed by the BBC, wrote [fa]:
@bbcshoma  اشرف غنى با چند مليون راى تقلبى ميخواهد بالاى مردم حكومت كند كه اين بار مردم تحمل آنرا ندارند
— haider sediqi (@GhSediqi) July 7, 2014 
Ashraf Ghani wants to rule over people with millions of fraud votes, but people are not going to tolerate that.
Journalist Ahmad Mukhtar continued to report sour grapes from the Abdullah camp:
RT @HNajafizada : Breaking: Abdullah's camp tells us it's a total fraud. Over 2 million fraudulent votes for Ghani.
— Ahmad Mukhtar (@AhMukhtar) July 7, 2014 
Due to the accusations of fraud, there could be recounts in some districts. American-Afghan writer Freshta Kazemi alleged that a quarter of the votes will be recounted.
— Fereshta Kazemi (@FereshtaKazemi) July 7, 2014 
Before the announcement of the results, Ghani and Abdullah had been appearing to talk past each other as their supporters warred  on social media. IEC head Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail was forced to step down after Abdullah's team claimed to have recordings of him ordering ballot box stuffing in Ghani's favour.
On the morning of July 7 Ashraf Ghani had stated that the votes of the people should be respected:
Stability of Afghanistan is in the stability of people. Hence, the will and votes of people must be respected: pic.twitter.com/ji73sq5A8v 
— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) July 5, 2014 
Abdullah Abdullah issued a similar message, albeit with an emphasis on a certain type of vote – the clean type.
Once again, I declare my commitment on defending clean votes of Afghan People!
— Abdullah Abdullah (@AfgPresident) July 6, 2014 
These clean votes, he explained, were different from “ghost” votes.
Election results released without ghost votes taken out of clean votes would not be acceptable for us!
— Abdullah Abdullah (@AfgPresident) July 6, 2014 
According to ex-BBC journalist and human rights advocate Ramin Anwar, Ashraf Ghani is ready to negotiate with Abdullah Abdullah to avoid conflict or violence.
— Ramin Anwari (@raminanwari) July 7, 2014 
While as rumours swirled on Twitter, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan was forced to deny that he had had a role in helping the IEC process the votes and acting as a mediator between campaign teams.
The U.S. Ambassador is not at the IEC.
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) July 7, 2014 
Over to Abdullah
With much at stake in Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power it seems the question Global Voices asked  back in April is as relevant as ever. As to the answer, much will depend on what Afghanistan's biggest loser , Abdullah Abdullah, and his millions of supporters, do next.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/07/07/no-less-than-a-miracle-afghanistans-next-president-is-ashraf-ghani/
URLs in this post:
 taken: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kabulpublicdiplomacy/5909047648/in/photostream/
 stated: http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/15519-ghani-leads-preliminary-results-
 #افغانستان: https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86?src=hash
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/Jamal_Mousavi/statuses/486152637348585472
 @ashrafghani: https://twitter.com/ashrafghani
 #AfghanElections: https://twitter.com/hashtag/AfghanElections?src=hash
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/LutfullahSaWayi/statuses/486154037776351232
 #Afghanistan: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Afghanistan?src=hash
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/TOLOnews/statuses/486155798293139457
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/ymohabbat/statuses/486161217359073282
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/azizTaheer/statuses/486174329789353986
 @bbcshoma: https://twitter.com/bbcshoma
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/GhSediqi/statuses/486168178545135616
 @HNajafizada: https://twitter.com/HNajafizada
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/AhMukhtar/statuses/486154499074322433
 pic.twitter.com/WFEirU9P6X: http://t.co/WFEirU9P6X
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/FereshtaKazemi/statuses/486162770526609408
 warred: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/06/afghanistan-facebook-ban-rejected-election-tension
 @alibomaye: https://twitter.com/alibomaye/status/451287994902003712/photo/1
 pic.twitter.com/ji73sq5A8v: http://t.co/ji73sq5A8v
 July 5, 2014: https://twitter.com/ashrafghani/statuses/485388502021206016
 July 6, 2014: https://twitter.com/AfgPresident/statuses/485907396062380032
 July 6, 2014: https://twitter.com/AfgPresident/statuses/485908537424760832
 #AshrafGhani: https://twitter.com/hashtag/AshrafGhani?src=hash
 #election: https://twitter.com/hashtag/election?src=hash
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/raminanwari/statuses/486162489173102592
 July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/USEmbassyKabul/statuses/486096588637745153
 asked: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/04/05/the-possible-post-electoral-shocks-in-afghanistan/
 biggest loser: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1672882.stm
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