Afghan election chief quits amid fraud claims


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Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail denies involvement in fraud in presidential poll but steps down “in national interest”.

Afghanistan’s chief electoral officer has resigned in a bid to resolve a political crisis over allegations of fraud in the runoff presidential vote earlier this month.

Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail said on Monday that he denied any involvement in fraud but he is stepping down “for the national interest.”

One of the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah, has said his campaign monitors had recorded ballot box stuffing and other irregularities.

Abdullah suspended cooperation with the vote counting process and demanded Amarkhail be suspended. The crisis has threatened what Western officials had hoped would be a peaceful transfer of authority.

Hamid Karzai is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term as president.

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