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Afghan vote: 1,5 million suspect ballots

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Afghan vote: 1,5 million suspect ballots


The final result of the controversial elections in Afghanistan will be announced later, with President Hamid Karzai expected to be confirmed as the winner. But a recount ordered by the Electoral Commission may yet affect the final, FINAL outcome.

One and a half million votes are being checked for fraud, that is ten percent of the entire ballot, leaving Afghanistan’s immediate future in doubt. Karzai is believed to have passed the 50 percent barrier, meaning he avoids a second round. But serious concerns remain over the conduct of the election, with his opponents alleging widespread fraud. Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah claims extensive ballot-rigging, especially in the President’s southern powerbase. In some places every vote cast went to Karzai, often in suspiciously round numbers like 500. Abdullah has demanded a run-off election to remove any vestige of illegitimacy. The allegations have prompted growing unease about the mission to impose democracy in Afghanistan. They also make it harder for Western political leaders to support Karzai while his election remains shrouded in controversy.

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