Afghanistan

Fraud Alleged in Election

There have been hundreds of complaints of fraud since the polls opened Tuesday for Afghanistan’s presidential election. Millions of Afghanis voted despite threat of attack from the Taliban, and reports that insurgents in the Kandahar province cut off the ink-stained fingers of two voters. President Hamid Karzai’s top challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, told the Associated Press Saturday that he believed Karzai rigged the election. A U.N. official said the most common complaint has been ballot-box tampering. There are also allegations that supposedly independent monitors at election sites attempted to influence the voting. Karzai dismissed Abdullah’s complaint, while Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, said the allegations are to be expected. "We have disputed elections in the United States. There may be some questions here. That wouldn't surprise me at all,” he said. "But let's not get out ahead of the situation."