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Rice Sure Afghan Elections Results to Stand

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2004 – Despite claims of fraud from 15 of the 16 Afghan presidential candidates, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is sure the results will stand, she told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday today.

"This election has been said to be by the U.N. and the Afghan Election Commission an election that clearly will reflect the views of the Afghan people," Rice said, adding that Oct. 9 was an extraordinary day for Afghanistan.

In fact, voting times had to be extended in one province because voters turned out in such great numbers, she said.

"Clearly there was some technical difficulties with the ink system which was intended as a backup system to having punched the cards," Rice said. "And the people who run the elections say that this process was well taken care of by mid-day and they do not believe it fundamentally affected the outcome of the elections."

Rice explained there is a mechanism within the context of Afghan election law to resolve these concerns and the election will be judged as legitimate. "I think the results will stand. Obviously there are technical difficulties sometimes even in the most mature democracies when it comes to elections," she said. "And the people have the right to challenge, and they should challenge. The United Nations and the Afghan Electoral Commission have said that they do not believe that these technical difficulties fundamentally would have changed the nature of the election."

Millions turned out to vote in the Afghanistan presidential election, including women.

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