Updated: 08/03/2014 23:40 | By Agence France-Presse

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah to rejoin election audit

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has agreed to rejoin an audit of the votes, UN officials said Sunday, after tense negotiations to keep the election on track amid a prolonged dispute over alleged fraud.

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah to rejoin election audit

Afghan election commission workers examine ballot papers during an audit of the presidential run-off vote at a counting centre in Kabul, on August 3, 2014 - by Wakil Kohsar

Abdullah's team "has informed the United Nations that it will... resume its participation in the audit process tomorrow," the UN said in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, the audit had restarted in Kabul without Abdullah's observers, who refused to attend due to disagreements over how votes would be judged as fraudulent.

The country's first democratic transfer of power has been engulfed in a crisis over alleged fraud, undermining hopes that the election would be a key achievement of the US-led military and civilian aid effort since 2001.

Instead, the battle between Abdullah, a former anti-Taliban resistance fighter, and Ashraf Ghani, an ex-World Bank economist, has threatened to spark a spiral of instability as NATO troops pull out and violence increases nationwide.

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