Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (8 July) on the presidential elections in Afghanistan:
The people in Afghanistan have courageously defied threats and violence, and turned out in large numbers for the two rounds of elections. It is their right that the allegations of extensive vote rigging are swiftly investigated and completely clarified.
The historic opportunity for achieving the first democratic change of power in the history of Afghanistan must not be recklessly put at risk.
In this critical situation, both candidates face great responsibility. I urge them not to jeopardise the electoral process by calling for a boycott or any form of violence. I ask them to think of the long-term political impact and to support the Electoral Commission in clarifying the allegations. This can only be achieved by constitutional means and by the Afghan institutions charged with this task.
On 7 July, the Independent Election Commission announced the preliminary results of the second round of the presidential elections. It reported that the candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai had won 56.44 % of the votes, while the second candidate in the run-off election, Abdullah Abdullah, had won 43.56 %. The chairperson of the Independent Election Commission, Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, pointed out that these are preliminary results. Before the final result can be announced, some of the votes must first be recounted and a ruling must be made by the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission. Recounting has already started in some constituencies.