The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced on Tuesday evening (local time), February 18, that incumbent President Ashraf Ghani won the September 28 election after securing 50.64 percent of the vote. Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah received 39.52 percent in the recount. The results of the election had been delayed amid allegations of voter fraud and procedural irregularities. Supporters of Abdullah, including Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, have previously threatened to establish a parallel government in the north should the results of the election prove unfavorable to their candidate.
Heightened security measures have been implemented in Kabul as of Tuesday evening to prevent the outbreak of any large-scale protests. Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have reportedly been placed on high alert, and increased checkpoints are in place across the capital, notably in the vicinity of electoral facilities. As such, associated transportation disruptions are to be expected over the coming hours and days.
Individuals in Afghanistan are advised to monitor the situation, avoid public demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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