KABUL, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- More international observers and experts arrived on Friday in Afghan capital of Kabul to take part in the audit process of presidential runoff elections.
"The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the deployment of professional international observers and UN experts ahead of the resumption on Saturday of the comprehensive audit of the results of the presidential election run-off held on June 14," UNAMA, the UN mission in the country, said in a statement Friday.
The Afghan presidential runoff was held on June 14 between the two leading presidential hopefuls. Preliminary results showed that Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai went ahead. However, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah refused to accept the outcome and accused the election commission of committing fraud and demanded a vote recount.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brokered an agreement between the two Afghan presidential candidates on July 12, breaking the election deadlock and paving the way for the formation of a national unity government in the country. Abdullah and Ghani agreed for the 100 percent audit of more than 8 million ballots.
The audit began on July 17 but was suspended for a couple of times.
"Today's arrivals also include Jeff Fischer, a senior international expert on elections whose prior experience with the United Nations includes serving as chief electoral officer for the Popular Consultation for East Timor and heading the Joint Registration Taskforce in Kosovo," the UNAMA statement noted.
"The arrival of a large contingent of international observers, in addition to the domestic observer groups, and UN experts is a powerful and tangible expression of the international community's commitment to Afghanistan. It reflects a deep desire by Afghanistan's international partners to respond to the two candidates' urgent request to ease the electoral impasse the country faced by helping Afghan institutions conduct a comprehensive and credible audit, in accordance with best international practice and under robust international supervision, " the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Jan Kubis, said in the statement.
Kubis called "upon the campaigns of the two presidential candidates to honor their agreement to take advantage of the extensive international mobilization and goodwill through their participation in the fully transparent audit of every single ballot box which they themselves requested."
Under the agreement between Abdullah and Ghani, the candidate who secures the majority of the votes in the audit process would become the country's president, and his opponent would serve as chief executive, which is tantamount to the position of a prime minister.