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Abdullah Welcomes Afghan Poll Results Delay

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah talks during an interview with AFP at his residence in Kabul on July 1.

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has welcomed a delay in the publication of election results.

Abdullah boycotted the vote count after the June 14 election, accusing his rival Ashraf Ghani, outgoing President Hamid Karzai, and election authorities of fraud.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has said preliminary results due out on July 2 could be delayed for several days.

Abdullah said on July 1 that a delay would allow "vigorous auditing" of the disputed ballot papers and added that "almost everybody now agrees there has been industrial-scale fraud."

IEC head Ahmed Nuristani told RFE/RL on June 30 the commission was recounting the votes at some 1,900 polling stations in 30 provinces, a process that could take four to five days.

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said that Secretary of State John Kerry called Karzai on July 1 and urged him to address candidates' concerns.

With additional reporting by AFP and Reuters