Afghan presidential election audit completed

Afghan election commission workers sort ballot papers during an audit of the presidential run-off vote in the country"s general election at a counting centre in Kabul on August 25, 201 The auditing of all eight million votes cast in the June run-off began in July

An audit of votes from Afghanistan's disputed presidential election has been completed, officials say, but results will not be made public for days.

Candidate Abdullah Abdullah withdrew observers from the audit, amid fraud concerns. His rival Ashraf Ghani also withdrew his team after a UN request.

Both camps believe they won June's poll and both alleged widespread fraud.

The two candidates had agreed to form a government of national unity but have so far failed to reach a deal.

Auditing all eight million votes cast in the June run-off began in July and analysts say there are still a few days of data entry and a 72-hour complaints process to take into account before the election result can be announced.

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How rival candidates compare

Ashraf Ghani Abdullah Abdullah
Ghani

Technocrat and former World Bank official. Open to talks with Taliban

Abdullah Abdullah during interview with AFP at his residence in Kabul August 9, 2014

Former anti-Soviet resistance member. Wary of Taliban talks

Leading in Pashtun-dominated southern provinces

Ahead in mainly Tajik northern areas

Backed by Rashid Dostum, an Uzbek ex-warlord accused of human rights abuses

Supported by wealthy Balkh governor Atta Mohammad, a bitter Dostum rival

Has support of Qayyum Karzai, brother of President Karzai

Also has backing of Mohamed Mohaqiq, powerful leader of ethnic Hazaras

Ahmed Zia Masood, whose brother was a famous resistance hero, helped balance ticket

Gul Agha Sherzai, an influential Pashtun, helped bring ethnic balance to ticket

According to the Afghan Analysts Network research organisation, just a few hundred boxes of votes have been completely invalidated so far but many more could be partly invalidated.

The final result could be announced on 10 September, according to reports.

Mr Abdullah was the frontrunner in the first round in April but did not secure an outright majority. Preliminary results after a second round in June put Mr Ghani ahead.

Mr Abdullah's team alleges hundreds of thousands of ballots are fraudulent and should be thrown out.

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