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Ear to the Ground

Corruption in Afghan Elections

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Posted on Oct 17, 2010
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Ken Denny

An Afghan election monitor during the country’s first parliamentary election in 2005.

Remember when President Bush said the U.S. would bring democracy to Afghanistan? Afghan and Western officials have indicated that last month’s elections were so fraudulent that almost 25 percent of all votes cast will be thrown out.

The fraud includes ballot-box stuffing, citizens forced to vote at gunpoint, and corrupt election officials and security forces. —JCL

The New York Times:

Although the announcement of the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections planned for Sunday were postponed, interviews with Afghan and western officials indicate that fraud was pervasive and that nearly 25 percent of the votes will be thrown out.

The fraud, which included ballot-box stuffing, citizens forced to cast their votes at gunpoint, corrupt election officials and security forces complicit with corrupt candidates, is expected to mean that 800,000 to a million votes will be nullified, according to two western officials who are following the election closely. The Afghan Independent Election Commission, which oversees the election, has refused to disclose the number of votes that could be thrown out but said in a statement that it had decided to nullify wholly or partially the votes cast at 430 polling centers and that votes at another 830 sites were being audited, suggesting substantial problems.

Until now the commission has been praised for endeavoring to run an honest vote-counting process, but the delay at the last minute, as hundreds of candidates have thronged to Kabul clamoring to know the results.

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By LucasFoxx, October 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As bad as it is, the rest of the article does indicate progress:
“The Independent Election Commission, ... gained a new identity this year under a new commissioner, Fazal Ahmad Manawi, and a new chief electoral officer, Abdullah Ahmadzai, both appointed last spring by Mr. Karzai. While many people had been dubious about them, the two men worked to make the commission’s fraud detection stronger, to fire lower-level officials who presided over fraud last year and to make the commission more transparent.”

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bogglesthemind's avatar

By bogglesthemind, October 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

“CORRUPTION IN AFGHAN ELECTIONS”

No shit . . .

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By rollzone, October 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

hello. so where did they learn these tactics?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, October 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

As opposed to the Diebolding of America.

At least there is a paper trail.

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