Karzai edges closer to victory but allegations of ballot fraud intensify

Hamid Karzai edged closer to the 50 per cent share of the votes he needs for outright victory in the Afghan presidential elections with the publication of the latest set of results yesterday. However, election officials also announced that they had thrown out votes from 447 polling sites because of suspected fraud. There has reportedly been significant friction within the country's Independent Election Commission about whether or not votes should be discounted.



According to some sources within the IEC, had the votes stood it would have led to a declarationof victory for President Karzai. But now, with 74 per cent of polling stations counted, the President is leading with 48.6 per cent of the vote while his main challenger, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, has 30.1 per cent. Out of 4.3 million valid votes, Mr Karzai has so far won 2.08 million and Mr Abdullah 1.36 million.

Allegations of ballot-stuffing have been made against all the candidates, although most have been levelled against supporters of Mr Karzai. So far investigators have received more than 2,000 complaints of malpractice, 620 of them deemed to be serious.

Election officials have fuelled the controversy by stating that counts from polling stations where 100 per cent of the votes had gone to Mr Karzai – as has happened in a number of places in the south and the east of the country – would be allowed to stand unless fraud had been conclusively proven.

Dr Abdullah, who has repeatedly complained about "state-engineered fraud" has accused the election officials of complicity in "stealing" the election for Mr Karzai, pointing out that a number of polling stations posted nearly identical numbers for the President and none for any other candidate.

Dr Abdullah has demanded the end to the publication of partial results and declared that he would not accept a victory being awarded to Mr Karzai based on "manufactured voting".

The chairman of the electoral commission, Daud Ali Najafi, said. "The IEC has been completely impartial in fulfilling its duties throughout the process."

The preliminary results, which are due to be announced in full in the next few days, will have to be "certified" after all the irregularities have been examined. This could, theoretically, lead to Mr Karzai losing his majority by being stripped of votes, forcing a run-off with Dr Abdullah.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition