IEC declares Ghani winner of preliminary results, Abdullah defies it

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) today, Sunday, December 22, announced the preliminary results of the 2019 presidential election. Speaking at press conference here in Kabul, Hawa Alam Nuristani, the chairwoman of the IEC, declared Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as winner of the 2019 presidential election. According to preliminary results, Mr. Ghani has won 923,868 votes, 50.62 percent of the total votes.

The 2019 Afghan presidential election was held on 28 September 2019. An estimated two million Afghans turned out in major Afghan cities to cast vote despite security threats posed by the Taliban insurgents.

The preliminary results of the 2019 presidential election was scheduled to come out by October 19, 2019. But disputes over vote recount led to a controversial and violent delay. Three major presidential tickets—led by the Abdullah Abdullah, Rahmatullah Nabil and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar voiced concerns over massive vote manipulation in favor of the incumbent president Ashraf Ghani, something both Mr. Ghani and the IEC denied.  

Minutes later after the IEC announced the preliminary results, Mr. Abdullah, in a statement, reiterated his position. They will not accept the results until their concerns over the 300,000 controversial votes are not addressed, the statement read.

According to official results announced by the country’s election commission, Mr. Abdullah—who is the main rival of Mr. Ghani—has won 39.5 percent of the votes.

The long-delayed 2019 Afghan presidential election took place against a Taliban campaign of violence with an estimated USD 207 million cost.

The Afghan presidential election, though disputed it may be, is the only way for power sharing in a war torn country where all ethnic groups are seeking to have a share in power.