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UN Tells Karzai Election Audit Won't Finish By September 2

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends an event to commemorate Afghanistan's 95th anniversary of independence in Kabul August 19, 2014.

The office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the United Nations envoy has told Karzai it is "not possible" to finish an audit of votes cast in Afghanistan's disputed election by September 2, the day a new president is scheduled to be inaugurated.

A statement on August 28 said Jan Kubis briefed Karzai about the UN-supervised audit, meant to help determine who won a June 14 runoff in which both candidates claimed victory, during a meeting in Kabul.

"The envoy said he is hopeful that the audit process will end by September 10," the statement said.

The complicated recount of the 8 million runoff votes has been under way for weeks after Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani both cliamed victory amid widespread fraud allegations.

Abdullah Abdullah pulled out of the audit process on August 27, and Ghani followed suit after UN officials told him to suspend participation in the interest of fairness.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa