Inhofe praises Afghan election deal

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Monday lauded the recent, America-brokered agreement for a full recount of Afghanistan's presidential election runoff results.

The deal, announced on Saturday by Secretary of State John Kerry, “is a positive step in a process that is absolutely essential to a peaceful transition of power in Afghanistan,” according to Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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Under the agreement, Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah will allow U.N. supervisors to examine every vote cast in the country’s runoff election. Each vowed to form a national unity government if they prevail.

Last week, Inhofe and Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said that the fight over Afghanistan’s top political office, which has included allegations of widespread vote-tampering in last month’s runoff, could “derail” hard-fought U.S. gains in the country.

“The proper execution” of the audit is “critical to resolving the massive fraud evident during the runoff,” Inhofe said.

In order to help preserve U.S. security achievements, he added, a “legitimate and capable leader is indispensable to a stable, secure and prosperous future for Afghanistan.”