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Ear to the Ground

Karzai: Fraud Happens in a Young Democracy

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Posted on Sep 7, 2009
Karzai
Wikimedia Commons / The White House

Karzai may be playing to his Afghan constituents in resisting U.S. recommendations about how to lead his country.

The official results have yet to be announced for Afghanistan’s presidential election, and incumbent President Hamid Karzai is facing pressure to agree to a do-over, but for his part, Karzai is pushing back against critics who claim that thousands of votes were forged to keep him in his country’s top position.  —KA

Times Online:

Mr Karzai has had tense meetings with Richard Holbrooke, the US regional envoy, who urged him to face a second round in the disputed elections, and earlier in the year with Joe Biden, the US Vice-President, who walked out of a meeting with him.

His confrontational stance has been interpreted as an attempt to curry favour with the Afghan people, who are often resentful of the 100,000 foreign troops on their soil. Mr Karzai, who swept to power after the 2001 US invasion and was elected President in 2004, has been seen as dependent on the US. He said yesterday that it was in no one’s interests for him to be an American puppet.

He also brushed off what Abdullah Abdullah, his main presidential rival, called “state-engineered” vote-rigging and told the newspaper Le Figaro that fraud was “inevitable in a budding democracy”. Dr Abdullah has warned of instability if the allegations are not addressed seriously.

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By akorozco, September 9, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Some media outlets have even asserted
(http://www.newsy.com/videos/karzai_and_the_future_of_afghanistan) that the
U.S. may have a hand in the election fraud.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

I wonder how he got the Afghani tribesmen to use the diebold machines since many can’t read.

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By isa, September 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope he doesn’t terrorize like the rest of them…I’m not surprised this fraud took place, I mean, hello, look what country this is taking place…

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, September 8, 2009 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

Not just young democracies ... anywhere.  But Karzai is just using a convenient excuse to cover massive fraud on his part.  I hope we pull out pretty soon and see how long he keeps his head.  I suspect he thinks we are there for a while and will keep him around.

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