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Wednesday, October 13, 2004
More on the Afghan Elections

By Steven Taylor @ 6:56 am

15 Afghan Candidates to File Vote Complaints With Panel [RSS]

Fifteen of the 17 candidates who ran against the interim president, Hamid Karzai, in Afghanistan’s first presidential election met here on Tuesday to prepare official complaints of multiple voting, ballot box stuffing and other irregularities.

The complaints will be investigated by a commission set up by the United Nations after the 15 candidates called for a suspension of the election on Saturday and accused the United Nations and Afghan Joint Election Management Board of bias toward Mr. Karzai. The candidates agreed to abide by the panel’s findings.

A spokesman for Mr. Karzai’s campaign, Hamid Elmi, said Mr. Karzai’s campaign office was also submitting complaints involving other candidates’ supporters, but he did not specify what. The large number of complaints may slow down a counting process already expected to take at least two weeks.

First, the idea that there were some irregularities is no surprise. Second, the good news is that the most significant of the opposition candidates, the individual who came in second, is not calling for a suspension. Third, there are some very serious charges in the list (ballot box stuffing, extra absentee ballots being filled out, etc.).

Still, the good news is that they are dealing with these kinds of problems and not Taliban soldiers slaughtering people for playing soccer in their shorts or terrorism during elections. This has been a massive step forward. That is isn’t perfect is hardly a surprise. Further, my guess is that even if all questionable ballots were magically removed from the proces Karzai still won by a landslide.

Filed under: Global Politics

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