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U.N. Official Sees 'Widespread Fraud' in Afghan Election

After facing allegations of a cover-up, Kai Eide, the most senior U.N. presence in Afghanistan, acknowledged that “widespread fraud” has tainted the country’s presidential election but denied that he tried to hide evidence of cheating.

A fraud investigation report is expected in the next several days. According to The Guardian, a Western diplomat said it was “on a knife edge” whether enough fraudulent votes would be removed from the preliminary result to trigger a potentially difficult second round.

The Guardian:

The most senior United Nations official in Afghanistan today acknowledged that “widespread fraud” had marred Afghanistan’s presidential election, but denied allegations from his sacked second-in-command that he had attempted to cover up evidence of cheating.

With days to go until the final result of the August election, Kai Eide, the head of the UN mission in Kabul, admitted there had been “significant fraud”. He said that the claims [of a cover-up] made by Peter Galbraith, the American diplomat sacked earlier this month, had “affected the entire election process”.

The report of a fraud investigation is due in the coming days, which will decide the final outcome of the voting that took place more than seven weeks ago.

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