Code: 850190 A

​“The winner of Afghanistan election is approved by the White House not the people,” the media advisor to former Afghan president Muhammad Hashem Esmat Ilahi told ILNA.

Speaking to ILNA news agency in an exclusive interview, Hashem Esmat Ilahi said “Afghanistan’s incumbent President Ashraf Ghani's victory was predicted before the election because in this election national interests were not considered.”

He believes the nomination of Ghani as the winning candidate is part of a US scenario for talks with the Taliban.

The media advisor to President Hamid Karzai added “there's no place for election among afghan people and do not accept its output at all.”

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the total turnout in the presidential election was more than 1.8 million with Ghani securing 50.64% - enough to win the first round of voting - beating his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, who currently shares power with Ghani in a unity government.

According to the tally released by the IEC on Sunday, the total turnout was 1,824,401 with Ghani winning 923,868 votes and Abdullah finished second with 39.5% and 720,099 votes.

If a review showed Ghani’s vote falling below 50% and no other candidate with a majority, a second round of voting would be held, she said.

Abdullah’s office said in a statement that he did not accept the preliminary results and that the commission had failed to tackle election fraud.

Hashem Esmat Ilahi said that fraud in the election was so evident that domestic and foreign institutions spent a lot of money to engineer the election.

“But more importantly, the results of the election must be examined in a peace with the Taliban insurgents,” adding that the United States trusts Ashraf Ghani more than Abdullah.

“I am not optimistic about the outcome of the Taliban-US peace talks, and the United States is seeking to call itself the architect of Afghan peace and declare the Taliban an angel of peace in the world,” Esmat Ilahi said.

The US-Afghan relationship has been strained since the United States began negotiating a peace settlement with the Taliban in February.


Ashraf Ghani Afghanistan election Hashem Esmat Ilahi Taliban-US peace talks
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