Potential end to Afghan political stalemate

Sep 16, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani casts his vote at a polling station on June 14, 2014 in in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

After months of deadlock, rival presidential candidates may be close to a power sharing deal. Abdullah Abdullah and fellow candidate Ashraf Ghani have both denounced the results of the June run-off election, claiming widespread vote rigging. 

Reuters notes: 

The struggle to find a successor to President Hamid Karzai, who has held power since the Islamist Taliban were ousted in 2001, has destabilized Afghanistan and paralyzed its economy just as most foreign troops withdraw. [...] A deal between rival camps is widely seen as the best hope for peace after the fraud-marred vote dented confidence in the legitimacy of the process and fueled ethnic and tribal rivalries between the teams. Preliminary figures indicate that Ghani led the second round by more than a million votes, and the results of a U.N. supervised audit are also expected to show he is the winner, according to officials involved in the process. Abdullah's team, however, disputes the legitimacy of the process and is calling for political power to be shared. Ghani's camp says everyone should accept the outcome once it is announced.

At the same time, extremist violence continues in the country; on Tuesday, a bomb went off outside a U.S. military base. According to the New York Times:

A large blast was felt throughout central Kabul in the middle of the morning rush hour Tuesday when a bomb was set off in front of the gates of an American military base, not far from the United States Embassy and the Afghan Supreme Court building. There were no initial details of casualties, but Twitter postings from the scene showed wounded Afghans. The area is normally crowded with car and foot traffic at that hour.