Updated: 07/02/2014 20:28 | By Agence France-Presse

Afghan election result delayed to Monday for fraud audit

Afghanistan's delayed presidential election result will be announced on Monday, officials said, as the two candidates wrangle over alleged fraud in a political crisis that threatens the country's first democratic transfer of power.

Afghan election result delayed to Monday for fraud audit

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (C) gestures to the camera during a gathering with tribal elders in Kabul on June 28, 2014 - by Wakil Kohsar

The five-day delay is to allow an audit of nearly 2,000 of the 23,000 polling stations nationwide in an anti-fraud audit designed to boost confidence in the vote-counting process.

But both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah say they won on clean votes, and neither appears prepared to accept defeat -- triggering the prospect of a power struggle as US-led troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the Taliban.

"The preliminary result was supposed to be announced today, but because of the inspection of ballot boxes in 1,930 polling stations, it was delayed," Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, head of the Independent Election Commission, told reporters.

"This is to guarantee transparency... we don't give in to any pressure on us."

The preliminary result will include all the votes cast in the June 14 run-off election.

Following a period for complaints to be heard, the final result is now expected on about July 24.

Abdullah, previously seen as the election front-runner, boycotted the vote count over alleged fraud, while Ghani said he backed the election commission and claimed victory by more than one million votes.

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