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William Hague urges Afghanistan’s leaders to maintain calm following announcement of preliminary election results.
Speaking today, the Foreign Secretary said:
This is a crucial time for Afghanistan. There must be an orderly, constitutional and legitimate transfer of power following the Presidential elections. I urge all of Afghanistan’s leaders to work together for the unity and stability of their country. To do otherwise risks political fragmentation, jeopardising the progress Afghanistan has made since the fall of the Taliban, and its partnership with the international community.
The Independent Electoral Commission has confirmed that fraud has taken place. Other serious allegations of fraud have been raised and it is right that they are fully investigated. Where fraud is found to have taken place, swift action must be taken. This is essential to ensure the integrity of the elections in the mind of all those Afghans who had the courage and determination to express their views at the ballot box. They made clear their support for a more peaceful and prosperous future by voting across the country in their millions in defiance of threats of violence.
Afghanistan’s politicians must now work within the Afghan Constitution and alongside the electoral institutions to ensure that the outcome is determined by those votes, not by fraud, and that Afghanistan continues the progress that we have seen and supported for the last thirteen years.
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