Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah arrives for a news conference in Kabul June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday intervened for the first time in the country's growing election crisis, backing a call for the United Nations to help solve a standoff over alleged fraud.Abdullah Abdullah, previously seen as the front-runner to succeed Karzai, has asked the UN to step in and has vowed to reject the result due out next month because of "blatant" fraud committed in the vote a week ago.The 2009 election, when Karzai retained power, was mired in massive fraud, shaking the US-led international effort to develop Afghanistan after the Islamist rule of the Taliban.The run-off vote was held after the two came first and second in an eight-man election on April 5, when Abdullah was far ahead with 45 percent against Ghani's 31.6 percent.Karzai had previously stayed out of the election process -- in public at least -- and he has not endorsed any candidate to take over when he steps down after serving the maximum two terms in office.
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