Afghan official says both presidential candidates' teams have now joined auditing process

An Afghan election official says representatives of both presidential candidates have now joined the audit of ballots from the June election runoff.

The process is a key step toward insuring a peaceful transfer of power and determining the successor to Hamid Karzai, the only president the country has known since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

Election commission spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor says observers from the team of former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah joined the internationally supervised process on Monday.

On Sunday, when the audit resumed after a holiday break, only representatives from candidate Ghani Ahmadzai's team were on hand.

Preliminary results showed Ahmadzai well ahead of Abdullah, but both sides alleged fraud. The audit of the more than 8 million votes is likely to take weeks.