President Ashraf Ghani, a contender in the current election, said there is confidence among his team about their victory in the election, but he insists that the crisis caused by the 2014 elections should not be repeated.
In an interview with Germany’s Spiegel news agency published on Monday, President Ghani said he has not claimed victory in the elections.
“My team and I are strictly abiding by the rules and will wait up to the moment the election committee announces the results. Anything before that are predictions and claims that are not helpful,” Ghani said.
His team is excited by initial numbers, Ghani said, but “we will wait for the final results.”
The Afghan president acknowledged that security threats against the election affected people’s turnout, saying: “Ultimately, the goal was to be able to hold this election at all-- given the dire scenario.”
Ghani is concerned about the process being drawn out unnecessarily.
“We do not have time for a months-long power struggle this time,” Ghani said, referring to the crisis in the 2014 presidential elections that led to the creation of the National Unity Government with shared power between President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
“We need to proceed, and a government with two heads as we had in the last five years will not succeed in this scenario,” Ghani said in the interview.
Ghani’s main rival Abdullah Abdullah has already claimed victory for the election, in which almost 2.8 million people have voted, according to current numbers provided by Afghanistan’s Election Commission.
“We are confident that the election will not go into a runoff. We assure our people and partners who put faith in our campaign that we will not allow fraud to determine the results,” Abdullah said in a tweet on Monday.