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Sat, Aug

Poll audit: Kerry due in Kabul today

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John-KerryUS Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Kabul on Thursday (tomorrow) to help resolve issues related to the presidential election, a knowledgeable source said on Wednesday.


An official, requesting not to be named, confided to Pajhwok Afghan News Kerry would meet the presidential runners -- Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai Dr. Abdullah -- and President Hamid Karzai.
Earlier in the day, the candidates’ representatives clashed as a result of differences over the vote audit at the Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in Kabul.
A member of Dr Ashraf Ghani’s team, Gulab Mangal, said one of their colleagues was wounded in the face after a verbal dispute led to a physical fight between the observers.
Also on Wednesday, the commission announced preparing a vote invalidation criterion through a computerised system. Around 23, 000 ballot boxes have arrived in Kabul.
All ballot boxes have reached the audit centre from provinces. The audit is underway under the watchful eyes of national and international observers, as well as representatives of both candidates.
On July 12, Abdullah and Ahmadzai reached an agreement on ending the electoral impasse and forming a government of national unity -- thanks to hectic diplomatic efforts by the United States and the United Nations.
A flurry of meetings between Kerry, the presidential hopefuls, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Jan Kubis and President Hamid Karzai yielded progress in breaking the stalemate.
The deadlock had been triggered by Abdullah’s boycott of the electoral institutions over what he called industrial-scale fraud in the runoff election.