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Monday, October 11, 2004

ABC News: Ballots Pour Into Afghan Counting Centers

Ballots Pour Into Afghan Counting CentersBallots Pour Into Afghan Counting Centers After Election; Opposition Boycott Wavering
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, left, has a laugh as he listens to Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking to the press at the Afghan presidential palace compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 11, 2004. Schroeder said Monday he hoped the presidential election would bring peace and stability to this war-battered nation. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan Oct. 11, 2004 — Ballot boxes poured into counting centers Monday for a tally of the troubled presidential election in Afghanistan amid signs an opposition boycott was wavering after at least two candidates agreed to accept the ruling of an independent panel's inquiry.

Election organizers hope their decision, announced late Sunday, to establish a panel of about three foreign election experts to investigate the balloting will end the boycott, which many fear could seriously undermine the winner's ability to rule this war-ravaged nation.

A senior Western official who met with some of the 15 candidates said many had decided to back down and support the investigative team.

"Some of the candidates say they made that statement (the boycott) in too much of a rush," the official said on condition of anonymity. "They are now looking for a way out that allows them to save face."
ABC News: Ballots Pour Into Afghan Counting Centers

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