US Secretary of State: Both Afghan presidential candidates agree to 100 percent ballot audit

The Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, is greeted by Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai as he arrives for a dinner at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, July 11, 2014. Kerry visited Afghanistan in hopes of diffusing a crisis over the runoff presidential election to find a successor for outgoing President Karzai. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)

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By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both of Afghanistan's presidential candidates are committed to abiding by the results of the "largest, most comprehensive audit" of the election runoff ballots possible.

Kerry stood with the two candidates who are disputing the results of Afghanistan's presidential election on Saturday night. He announced that Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (ahsh-RAHF' gah-NEE' ah-mahd-ZEYE') and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah have agreed to abide by a 100 percent, internationally supervised audit of all ballots in the presidential election in Kabul.

Both candidates have agreed to a national unity government.

The prolonged uncertainty about the outcome of the election has jeopardized a central plank of President Barack Obama's strategy to leave behind a stable state after the withdrawal of most U.S. troops at year's end.

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