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Afghanistan Candidates O.K. Audit

July 12, 2014
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both Afghan presidential candidates have agreed to a full audit of the election ballots and promised to abide by the results. Speaking late Saturday at a press conference with runoff candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, Kerry said "every single ballot" cast across the country will be audited in Kabul starting in 24 hours. ISAF security forces will safely transport the ballots from across the country for international monitors proposed by the United Nations to audit them.

Kerry said the process will take a number of weeks. He also said outgoing President Hamid Karzai has agreed to postpone the presidential inauguration date to accommodate the audit. Both candidates say they agree the winner will serve as president and immediately form a national unity government. Ashraf Ghani said a "winner take all" approach would not benefit Afghanistan, but that a government of national unity would "honor every Afghan" and show the government is committed to the well-being of everyone.