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U.S. Warns Against Power Grab Over Afghan Election Dispute

John Kerry
John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that any attempt to seize power in Afghanistan "by extra-legal means" would cost the country its international aid.

Kerry's warning came after preliminary results of presidential elections triggered a dispute between the two candidates.

In a statement on July 8, Kerry voiced "gravest concern" about reports of suggestions of a "parallel government" and said Washington expects Afghan electoral institutions to investigate "reasonable allegations of irregularities."

A spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah rejected the preliminary results as a "coup" and said Abdullah will announce plans for his own national government on July 8.

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on July 7 that preliminary results from the June 14 second round ballot show Ashraf Ghani with 56.44 percent of the vote compared to 43.56 percent for Abdullah.

IEC chairman Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani has said the results could change after taking into consideration allegations of fraud or a review of votes that could later be invalidated.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and "The Telegraph"