KABUL, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday began the invalidation of ballots cast in the presidential runoff election held on June 14, as the audit process of all ballot boxes continues.
The audit process of the votes, cast in June 14 Afghan presidential runoff began on July 17 during which IEC Chairman Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani promised to complete the process within three to four weeks.
So far, the IEC has audited 16,364 ballot boxes out of total 22, 828 polling stations, or 71 percent of all stations, according to IEC officials.
"The IEC commissioners made their decisions after having reviewed audit findings, as recorded on checklist forms. About 3, 645 polling stations had been reviewed by the IEC on Monday. A total of 2,876 boxes were normal. The IEC conducted recount of 697 boxes, and 72 polling stations or boxes were invalidated," an IEC official told reporters in IEC compound.
Afghan presidential runoff was held on June 14 between the two front runners Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
Preliminary results showed that Ghani went ahead. However, former Foreign Minister Abdullah refused to accept the outcome and accused the election commissions 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 ethnically-divided country.
The two runners agree for audit of 100 percent of nearly 8 million votes.
Under the agreement, 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.
The new president inauguration is expected to be held on Sept. 2 if the final results are announced on time, according to officials.