Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (C) waves to his supporters during a gathering in Kabul July 8, 2014. (REUTERS/Omar Sobhani)
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The United States warned Tuesday it would withdraw financial and security support from Afghanistan if anyone tried to take power illegally, as supporters of a presidential candidate rallied in Kabul for a parallel government.Observers fear that a standoff between Abdullah and Ghani could plunge Afghanistan into disorder, with no clear leader in a country already beset by deep-rooted ethnic divisions.Abdullah has accused President Hamid Karzai, who is stepping down after 12 years in power, of helping rig the vote in favor of Ghani, describing it as a "coup" against the people.The standoff over the vote has quashed hopes for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, a concern for the West as most U.S.-led forces withdraw from the country this year.There are concerns however about how much Abdullah, who is popular among the powerful Tajik community in the north, would be able to control his supporters if the crisis escalated.
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