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July 26, 2014

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Election commission welcomes UN mediation

Updated Sunday, July 13, 2014 | 8:46 a.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Welcoming an agreement between the two top candidates brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations, Afghanistan's election commission hopes to finish an audit of 23,000 polling stations within three weeks.

Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani, chairman of the Independent Election Commission, told reporters Sunday that the commission is ready to start auditing all 8 million votes cast in the June 14 presidential runoff as soon as possible.

Nouristani said after training auditors, the audit can begin in the presence of representatives from both candidates as well as national and international observers.

The Kerry-brokered deal Saturday night for a full ballot audit offers a path out of political crisis for Afghanistan. Both candidates had claimed victory and were talking of setting up competing governments.