Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb 18 (ANI): Hours after the announcement of the final results of the presidential election by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Tuesday, Abdullah Abdullah, the country's chief executive officer (CEO), announced the formation of an "inclusive government" by his Stability and Convergence campaign team, declaring his "victory" in the polls.
The final results of the election, according to the IEC, showed that incumbent President Ashraf Ghani had received the highest count of votes, equivalent to 50.6 per cent of the total votes polled, while Abdullah had secured 39.52 per cent of total votes, TOLOnews reported.
With the commission announcing Ghani as the winner of the elections during a press conference, Abdullah was quoted as saying that the decisions on disputed votes were "illegal," adding that today's results were a coup against democracy and he does not accept them.
"It was national treason," Abdullah said.
He said, "The Stability and Convergence team is the 'winner of the election' based on 'clean votes' and we announce our 'victory,'" adding, "We announce the formation of an inclusive government."
There was a slight change in Tuesday's announcement from IEC's announcement of the preliminary elections on December 22 last year. Based on the IEC's decision, a partial audit and partial recount were conducted of the 300,000 disputed votes, and 262 votes were added to Ghani's total, while 742 votes were added to Abdullah's, and 453 votes were invalidated, according to the commission.
Based on the preliminary results that were announced late last December, incumbent President Ashraf Ghani was narrowly declared the winner while Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah got 39 per cent of a total of over 1.8 million votes.
Originally scheduled to be announced on October 19, the results of the presidential elections, which were held in September last year, were repeatedly delayed, with IEC officials citing technical issues, allegations of fraud and protests from candidates.
Both Abdullah and Ghani shared power over the past five years in a so-called unity government formed by the United States in the wake of allegations of widespread fraud and corruption in the 2014 polls.
In September's election, which was held amid Taliban threats to disrupt the process, nearly one million of the initial 2.7 million votes were purged owing to irregularities.
Ultimately, only 1.8 million votes were counted -- a tiny number, given Afghanistan's estimated population of 35 million and its total of 9.6 million registered voters.
The final results came as the US and the Taliban, which has been fighting the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan since the Taliban was toppled from power in 2001, appear to be close to embarking on a seven-day "reduction in violence" as a prelude to a peace deal to end the US's longest war.
The deal also proposes talks between the government in Kabul and the Taliban. The armed group has so far refused to speak to the Western-backed government of Ghani, calling it a "puppet regime". (ANI)