Afghanistan's election crisis deepened yesterday when presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would reject the result because his claims of massive fraud have failed to stop the continuing vote count.
His complaints about alleged fraud in Saturday's run-off election have thrown the country's first democratic transfer of power into turmoil ahead of preliminary results due out on July 2.
Abdullah took on Ashraf Ghani in the run-off vote after the two came first and second in an eight-man election on April 5, when Abdullah was ahead with 45 per cent of the vote against Ghani's 31.6 per cent.
"From now onwards, since [the election authorities] have not responded to our legitimate demands ... everything they do and the result of their activities will not be accepted by us," Abdullah said.
Referring to both the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Election Complaints Commission he said: "We will not consider these two institutions as legitimate."
Abdullah has focused his fraud claims on the IEC's estimated turnout of more than seven million voters, which he believes is too high.
Abdullah had demanded an immediate stop to the vote count and the sacking of IEC secretariat head Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail over his alleged attempt to remove unused ballots from the IEC headquarters on polling day.
But the IEC refused his demands, saying it would stick to the schedule in an election that will choose a new president after Hamid Karzai's 13-year reign.
In a strong statement late on Wednesday, the UN mission warned that if candidates "abandon the legal process and framework and appeal directly to supporters [it] could incite violence".