Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah declares victory in Afghan election

Associated Press
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah

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Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah threatened Tuesday to withdraw from the disputed election, a move that could wreck UN efforts to rescue the country's first democratic transfer of power.

The June 14 vote has triggered a standoff between Abdullah and his poll rival Ashraf Ghani, with both candidates claiming victory amid allegations of massive fraud.

To end the impasse, a deal was brokered for an audit of all eight million votes to remove fraudulent ballots, and for the formation of a national unity government under whoever becomes the next president.

But with the audit entering its final stages, Abdullah's campaign team ignored pleas from the United Nations and the United States to allow the process to be completed and then to respect the outcome.

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