Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) welcomed the announcement of preliminary results for presidential elections in Afghanistan wherein the incumbent President, Ashraf Ghani seems set for a second term. The MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in a statement, said that the government commends all the leaders and institutions for their hard work to preserve and strengthen democracy in Afghanistan.
According to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Ghani secured 50.64% of the total votes polled, estimated as more than 1.8 million. Ghani’s main challenger Dr Abdullah Abdullah, who won 39.52% of the vote, rejected the preliminary results and might file an appeal before the final results.
"We would like to make it clear once again...that our team will not accept the result of this fraudulent vote unless our legitimate demands are addressed," said Dr Abdullah's team in a statement.
Kumar said the Indian government expects that the complaints would be addressed through the prescribed legal processes so that the final results are declared in a timely manner.
“We hope that the Afghan leaders and other stakeholders will work together to further strengthen the democratic polity and to fight the serious challenges of terrorism facing the country,” the MEA spokesperson added.
Kumar reiterated India’s commitment to work with the people and Government of Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism and in its pursuit of socio-economic development.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has also welcomed the preliminary results and commended IEC and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) for their work.
“On 28 September 2019, the citizens of Afghanistan braved security threats to cast their votes for a better future; those voters deserve to be commended for carrying out their civic duty,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
Yamamoto said that all candidates have the chance to raise any concerns they may have through the appropriate mechanism and within the prescribed time, in accordance with the relevant legal frameworks, regulations, and procedures.