Sunday, December 15, 2019

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Abdullah Agrees to Allow Afghan Presidential Election Ballot Recount

Neither Ghani nor Abdullah are keen to repeat the 2014 election experience.
Afghanistan presidential candidate and current Chef Executive Abdullah Abdullah announced Friday that he has agreed to allow a ballot recount in provinces where his supporters had stopped the process for almost a month.
Abdullah has served as Afghanistan’s chief executive in a fragile national unity government with President Ashraf Ghani since 2014. The precarious arrangement was put together by then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014 after the presidential election that year, which went into a second-round run-off between Ghani and Abdullah, resulted in deadlock. Abdullah, who had pulled more votes in the first round, lost to Ghani in the second and cried foul. The national unity government has been a cumbersome compromise between the two men.
On Friday, Abdullah addressed the media following a conference with his supporters. He said he won’t accept any election result until all fake ballots are removed.
In November, more than 40 days after the election, Abdullah withdrew his team’s election observers from an official recount of ballots following disputes over exactly which votes to count.
At the time, Abdullah objected to the recount because of what his team said were more than 300,000 “fraudulent votes.”
The 300,000 includes 137,630 votes quarantined by Dermalog’s servers due to “small mistakes.” Dermalog is the German company that provided the biometric technology used in the Afghan election. The rest consists of 102,012 votes reportedly cast outside of official polling hours, plus an unstated number of votes cast with duplicate photos or other irregularities.
Afghanistan’s election and election complaint commissions had repeatedly requested that Abdullah’s supporters allow the ballot recount process to move forward and promised to release results based on valid ballots. 

Abdullah urged his supporters, who have been blocking the offices of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in seven provinces, to allow the recount to proceed. The AP reported that it wasn’t  immediately clear if Abdullah would send any of his own observers to take part in the recount process.
The results were initially scheduled to be announced by October 19. That date was pushed to November 14 and when that date whooshed past, no new date was set.
According to Tolo News, the chair of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), Zohra Bayan Shinwari, called on the IEC to announce the preliminary poll results “as soon as possible.”
No new date has been set to announce preliminary election results. If no candidate gains more than 50 percent of the vote, a second round will be held. Ghani and Abdullah are considered the top candidates and a repeat of 2014 is possible.
What’s different is that the United States under Donald Trump doesn’t have the kind of diplomatic cachet that the Obama administration wielded abroad. It’s difficult to imagine Secretary of State Mike Pompeo jetting to Kabul and hammering out a new national unity government. Neither, Ghani nor Abdullah look keen to repeat the national unity government experience.
Meanwhile, the United States has announced the resurrection of official negotiations with the Taliban three months after Trump killed a pending deal with a series of tweets.

Bilawal vows to fight for democracy till last breath

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday vowed to fight for democracy till his last breath, ARY News reported.
Addressing a workers convention in Karachi, Bilawal said that democracy is under threat and conspiracies are being hatched to deprive people of their rights in the country.
The PPP chairman said, “Democracy is our revenge.”
Speaking on the occasion, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced that they will observe Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary this time in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh, where she was martyred on Dec 27, 2007.
He said that they will kick off a new movement and present their agenda for the masses on 27th of December. The PPP leader said that conspiracies were being hatched against PPP and the Sindh government.
Bilawal urged the masses to support him as they had supported his mother.
Earlier on July 25, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had said that  Democracy was under threat.
Addressing a public gathering at Bagh-e-Jinnah Ground in Karachi today, he had said: “No political party alone can find a solution to the ills plaguing the country at present.”
The public meeting was organised in connection with black day observed by opposition parties on the first anniversary of the 2018 general elections.

Bilawal Bhutto kicks off three-day anti-polio campaign in Balochistan

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari kicked off on Sunday a three-day anti-polio campaign in Balochistan by administering polio drops to children in Quetta.

The anti-polio campaign in the province will formally begin tomorrow and at least 400,000 children will be administered polio vaccines during the three-day drive.
Earlier, addressing a rally in Quetta, Bilawal said that the party will observe former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh.

The PPP leader criticized the federal government for “attacking” the PPP government in Sindh and said that the 18th constitutional amendment was under attack in the country by the “selected” government.

The rulers are not elected but selected, he told his supporters and added that the government is putting the burden of its incompetence on the people.
Billionaires were given bailout while houses were snatched from the poor in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, Bilawal said.

#Pakistan #PPP - Masses are the real source of power: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said masses are the real source of power and his party cannot tolerate injustice to the people.
Addressing party’s workers convention in Quetta on Sunday, he said that the Bhutto’s third generation is facing trial, adding that former president and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari will never compromise on his principles.
The PPP chairman said that his father and former president couldn’t be pressurized even after he wasn’t provided medical facilities for six months, adding that even his aunt Faryal Talpur was kept in Adiala Jail.
Bilawal went on to say that trial of Sindh’s cases is being conducted in Rawalpindi, adding that the rulers think they can silent their voice through injustice.
“We will make people’s government with the support of general public,” he said and added his party would give a strong message to the world the people are the real source of power and we do not accept the selected government.