A former U.N. diplomat has attacked the process and results of the recent Afghan elections, claiming that almost one in three votes cast for incumbent President Hamid Karzai was fraudulent and that the elections seriously weakened the democratic process in the eyes of the Afghan people. As a consequence, the Taliban is stronger, says Peter Galbraith, who was fired in a dispute over the voting.

The Guardian:

A former senior United Nations diplomat in Kabul has launched a scathing attack on the UN’s handling of Afghanistan’s disputed elections, claiming that almost one in three of the votes cast for president Hamid Karzai were fraudulent.

Writing in today’s Washington Post, Peter Galbraith, the former deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, singled out his former boss Kai Eide for criticism, saying that he had deliberately downplayed the level of cheating in an election where in one region “10 times as many votes were recorded as voters actually cast”.

Galbraith, who was sacked last week after his disagreements with Eide about how to deal with electoral fraud became public, said the extraordinary level of fraud in the August vote “has handed the Taliban its greatest strategic victory in eight years of fighting the United States and its Afghan partners”.

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