Afghanistan's Abdullah urges calm as deadlock continues

Sep 08, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah holds up his inked finger as he speaks to media after casting his vote at a polling station on June 14, 2014 in in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

Presidential contender Abdullah Abdullah called on his supporters to avoid violence on the anniversary of the assassination of a prominent anti-Taliban fighter, and amid a stalemate over the results of a presidential election held in June. Abdullah and political rival Ashraf Ghani both contest the election results.

Reuters notes: 

The row over the election which both men claim to have won could reignite Afghanistan's dangerous ethnic divisions. Abdullah is seen as drawing the support of the country's Tajiks and Hazaras centered in the north while Ghani is a member of the Pashtuns based in the south and east.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

U.S. officials worry that Abdullah’s supporters will renew calls to form a parallel government, which reached such intensity in July that Secretary of State John F. Kerry made an unannounced visit to Kabul to head off such a plan. That visit led to the agreement by both candidates to audit all 8 million votes and share power in a new government, but the recount has been marred by major delays and repeated threats by Abdullah to withdraw from the process.