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U.S. Envoy Says Afghans Should Form Coalition Government

U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins.

The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, says Afghanistan's feuding presidential candidates should form a coalition government to avoid splintering the country.

The Bloomberg news service quotes Dobbins as telling a conference at the Washington-based Asia Society on July 9 that “a winner-take-all system in Afghanistan is not a workable” option.

He added, “A government of national unity that includes all elements is, we think, a necessity for a successful government.”

The remarks come as Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani quarrel over who is ahead in the vote count following the announcement of initial results on July 7.

Abdullah has claimed victory, saying the initial vote count showing Ghani ahead by some 1 million votes is fraud-ridden.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due in Kabul on July 11 to discuss the crisis.

Based on reporting by Bloomberg