Tainted

Sweeping Fraud Mars Afghan Vote

So much evidence of fraud has surfaced after last week’s critical Afghan election that many are beginning to question the validity of the entire process. Videos have shown ballot-stuffing, officials being bribed, workers being detained, and officials bargaining over the price of a vote. Candidates in the province of Kandahar have even accused the president’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, of writing a list of winners before the election was even held. So far, the Election Complaints Commission has received more than 3,000 protests; over half were judged to possibly affect the outcome of the ballot. “From an overall democracy-building perspective, it does not look rosy,” said one diplomat. The reported fraud could affect results in one-third of Afghanistan's provinces.