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Afghan Candidate Abdullah Blames Karzai For Election Standoff

wochit politics
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June 19, 2014 AT 8:26 AM
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah accused Hamid Karzai on Thursday of orchestrating a stalemate after last weekend's runoff election and said the incumbent would be responsible for any ensuing political crisis. Preliminary results are not due until July 2 but Abdullah's refusal to accept the outcome has raised the risks of the war-torn country plunging into a protracted political crisis as most foreign troops prepare to leave Afghanistan this year. Afghans braved Taliban threats to vote in a second-round run-off on Saturday but accusations of cheating have since created a deadlock between Abdullah and his rival, former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah has demanded a suspension to vote counting and declared he had no trust in electoral bodies. On Thursday, he directly accused Karzai, who was constitutionally barred from running for office again after 12 years in power, of playing a role in the standoff. Karzai, expected to retain a hand in politics even after standing down, has repeatedly denied claims of interference.