Tags: Afghan Election Marred By Fraud | Violence

Afghan Election Marred By Fraud, Violence

Monday, 20 September 2010 06:31 AM

The farmers in Nagahan, a village in Kandahar Province, lined up early to cast their votes on Saturday, but there were no ballots and no ballot boxes, making the election seem a cruel joke.

Few showed up at polling stations near Marja on Saturday, The New York Times reports.
The Taliban had vowed to disrupt the vote; scores of polling stations were attacked, and hundreds of them apparently never opened.

“We waited until afternoon for the election material to arrive,” said Haji-Qaum Jan Aka, 50, a village elder. “Then what did we get? Ballot boxes, but when we opened them there were no ballot papers, no ink, not even any pens.”

A day after Afghan parliamentary elections, scores of accounts of local ballot stuffing as well as the suppression of voting like that in Nagahan are beginning to surface, especially from the troubled provinces in the south and east. It is too early to say how widespread the problems were, but in several provinces there were certainly irregularities, if not outright fraud, intended to help particular candidates.

“There’s not, so far, a clear indication of massive or systematic fraud, but there will very likely be quite a few cases of retail fraud combined with widespread irregularities,” said Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special representative here.

But retail, or localized, fraud is often all that is needed to sway parliamentary elections where the margins can be tiny. Each province is allocated seats in Parliament based on a rough estimate of its population. (There has not been a census in decades.) The top vote getters in each province win the seats.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

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Afghan Election Marred By Fraud,Violence
Monday, 20 September 2010 06:31 AM
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