No re-run of Afghan elections: Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke President Barack Obama's special envoy for Af-Pak

Richard Holbrooke, who is President Barack Obama's special envoy for Af-Pak, said he felt that the counting process in Afghanistan is not going to be long drawn-out.

"Such a delay would only play into the hands of militants," he said while appearing for the 'NewsNight' of the BBC Television where he conceded that the recently concluded polls were marred by allegations of fraud and rigging.

Despite the allegations, Holbrooke said that critics of the last month's Presidential elections should bot be jumped to conclusion and the independent election commission should be allowed to complete its vote count.

"A re-run of the election was not a viable option," the US envoy told BBC. He said inspite of cries of malpractices, the electoral process in Afghanistan had to be supported by the international community. Holbrooke said US had been prepared for disputes over the polls.

Afghanistan's vote monitoring body on Thursday ordered for the first time cancellation of ballots from 83 booths mostly in Pushtun dominated southern provinces including Kandahar.

So far, in the race for the President, the current incumbent Hamid Karzai is leading with 54 per cent of the share of the votes counted.

Appearing on the same programme, British Foreign Secretary David Milliband expressed concerns about allegations of fraud in the last month's Afghan presidential elections and said Britain would not be a party to any "whitewash".

"We will not be party to any attempt at whitewash in the elections," Miliband told BBC TV.
Noting that electoral complaints commission had cancelled results from 83 polling stations, the British Foreign Secretary said, "so of course we have concerns about the allegations of fraud."

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