Afghan president’s rivals reject election results

Leading rival candidates of the incumbent Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday rejected the long-awaited results of the polls held in September last year.

Ghani's main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who came in second with 39.5% of votes, had already vowed to form an "inclusive government" in defiance of the results.

Abdullah's close aide, former first Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum went one step further and declared to stand against the next government that would be formed as a result of the "rigged elections".

Addressing scores of his supporters in his hometown Sheberghan, Dostum reiterated support for the "inclusive government" announced by Abdullah, and called upon people in every province to elect their own governors.

Veteran Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who bagged 3.8% of the votes and came in third, called for fresh polls.

"We are not supporting a parallel government, but we support the idea of an inclusive government that include the Taliban," Hekmatyar said.

In a social media post, former President Hamid Karzai said holding elections under conditions in which fairness and justice cannot be ensured would only lead to crisis.

Karzai stressed the peace process has progressed well, and there is a dire need for unity.

On Tuesday, announcing the results, Hava Alam Nuristani, the country's female chief commissioner, said Ghani has secured the required minimum of 50%-plus votes for the top office.

Ghani won with a 50.64% lead, leaving no room for an election rerun.

Similarly, troubled presidential polls in 2014 delivered a weak and divided national unity government under Ghani and Abdullah, when the country was pushed to the edge of disorder amid withdrawal of some 100,000 foreign troops.

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