Bass: winner of Afghan elections will not have a ‘commanding mandate’

The US Ambassador to Afghanistan, John R. Bass has recently said that the winner of Afghanistan 2019 presidential elections with fewer than a million votes in a country of over 30 million people will not have a ‘commanding mandate.’

In an exclusive interview aired by TOLOnews on Wednesday, January 01, 2020, pointing to the low number of votes cast in favor of any possible winner, he argued that it’s not a signal that a large majority of the people support the winner.

According to the US Ambassador, whoever the winner might be in a first round, will “need to reach out to other political factions, they need to be governing inclusively, they need to be listening to the desires and the fears and the objectives of a wider cross section of society”.

The preliminary results announced by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on December 22, suggest that the incumbent President Ghani is the leading candidate with 923,868—less than a million—which counts for 50.6 percent of the total votes cast in the Afghan elections.

According to the preliminary results, 1,824,401 people turned out to vote in the country’s 4th presidential elections while around nine million people had registered to vote in the elections.

The remarks by Mr. Bass comes while the Afghan elections remains highly disputed between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.

Although the IEC has not announced the final results, dispute over 300,000 controversial votes is still in place and three major presidential tickets have stated that they will not accept the preliminary results unless their demands are not addressed.