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Afghan candidate threatens to withdraw

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan's election crisis continued to deepen Tuesday as the campaign of second-place candidate Abdullah Abdullah warned that it will abandon a U.S.-brokered deal to end a political stalemate unless major changes are made in how millions of votes are being reexamined.

Abdullah adviser Fazal Ahmad Manawi said the candidate has concerns that an ongoing audit of 8 million votes cast in a June runoff is not stringent enough to catch fraudulent ballots. He called the audit a "joke" and said new procedures must be implemented by today or Abdullah could walk away from the recount.

Abdullah finished first in a field of eight candidates in the initial round of voting in April but fell short of a majority, necessitating the runoff with former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

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