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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
music
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have the right attitude,...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn