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The New Arab

Afghan election candidate loses and announces his own 'government'

Abdullah intends to form his own government [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 February, 2020

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As Afghan elections draw to a close, candidate Abdullah Abdullah lost an election but contested the results saying he would form his own government.

Afghan presidential election loser Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday contested final results that declared his rival Ashraf Ghani the winner of last year's poll, vowing to form his own parallel government.

"Our team, based on clean and biometric votes, is the victor and we declare our victory. The fraudsters are the shame of history and we announce our inclusive government," Abdullah said at a press conference in Kabul.

Earlier Tuesday, Afghan election officials said final results showed he had won 39.52 percent of last September's vote, while Ghani had taken 50.64 percent.

This comes as the US is leading on a Taliban deal for a seven-day reduction of violence across the country, a senior American official said Friday, unveiling details of the agreement Washington hopes will lead to a full peace accord.

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The week-long period has not yet begun but will do so "really soon", the official said, contradicting a Taliban suggestion it would start on Friday.

The partial truce came after more than a year of gruelling talks between American officials and the Afghan militants as they seek to end what has become the US's longest war.

"The reduction of violence agreement is very specific. And... it's nationwide and it includes the Afghans," the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The US military, which has between 12,000 and 13,000 troops in Afghanistan, will monitor the reduction in violence to ensure the Taliban upholds its commitments, the official said at the Munich Security Conference.

Some kind of communication channel between the US military and the Taliban is foreseen to address any problems that arise, including possible "false flag" attempts by outside actors to sabotage the accord.

"We will be monitoring, there will be verification associated with it to see if the Taliban deliver - if the Taliban deliver on their commitments we have commitments, in terms of reduction of forces that are also specific," the official said.

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