Afghan Election Fraud Report Voids Thousands of Ballots – Runoff Likely

October 19, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A panel probing fraud claims in the Afghan election has found Hamid Karzai did not gain enough valid votes for an outright win. Fraud investigations previously discovered that 1.1 million ‘questionable votes’ were given to President Hamid Karzai from the country’s disputed August election, and that the subtraction of these votes was enough to push Karzai below 50 percent. A U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) panel Monday agreed, releasing its findings after nearly two months of investigations, which is expected to force a runoff.

As anticipated Karzai is refusing to accept the result of the UN-finding’s and a senior aide said today that the crisis had reached a “deadlock”.   With the top commanding officer in Afghanistan Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal previously revealing a belief that “rampant government corruption” has given the Taliban and al-Qaeda an edge in the war, a runoff election is necessary if they want to change perceptions.  If not Karzai’s victory could enrage Dr. Abdullah’s supporters, trigger protests and further undermine the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s government in the eyes of the citizens.  The White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel warned Sunday that President Obama would delay a decision on whether to commit up to 40,000 extra American troops to the conflict until the election crisis pans out and it becomes clear whether there’s “an Afghan partner” worth fighting for.


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