Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

Afghan presidential candidate will concede defeat if vote total remains secret

Afghanistan's two presidential candidates are eyeing a deal under which they will share power with one holding the title of president. Yet the presumed loser, Abdullah Abdullah, says he will agree to such terms only if the final vote tally from the runoff election is kept under wraps.

At issue is that Abdullah's campaign does not believe an audit of the election, overseen by the U.N., was fair. That recount is expected to find that Abdullah's rival, Ashraf Ghani, emerged victorious.

"The main sticking point is the announcement of the results," an Abdullah spokesman told The New York Times. "The results of the I.E.C. will not have legitimacy since the audit failed to separate fraudulent votes from legitimate ones."

The two sides reportedly reached a power sharing deal earlier in the week, and were to announce it within days. Yet the dispute over the audit has apparently stalled the completion of the agreement, which would give Abdullah the new title of chief executive officer.