News / Asia

Afghan Election Complaints Watchdog Warns of Fraud

An Afghan election worker stands next to ballot boxes at a counting centre in Kabul, April 6, 2014.
An Afghan election worker stands next to ballot boxes at a counting centre in Kabul, April 6, 2014.
Reuters
Afghanistan’s presidential election last Saturday may have suffered a significant degree of fraud, the country's election complaints commission said, warning that all votes cast irregularly would be thrown out.

The final result is not expected for weeks as ballot boxes have to be returned to Kabul from distant corners of the insurgency-racked country, with some carried down from the mountains by mule.

"I want to say election fraud did take place and it might not have been a small amount," Abdul Satar Sadaat, the head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Complaints Commission, told a news conference on Wednesday. Unless there is an outright winner with more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be run-off held between the two leading candidates at the end of May.

Early returns indicated the frontrunners were former foreign ministers Abdullah Abdullah, and Zalmay Rassoul, and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, but it was too early to identify clear trends from results at a few polling stations in Kabul.

Whereas the 2009 election, which saw Hamid Hazai re-elected president for a second term, was marred by large scale ballot box stuffing, according to the National Democratic Institute, the latest poll has received even more complaints, though most referred to the behavior of election officials.

"The majority of complaints registered with us right now is about the election commission workers. We are investigating to get to the bottom of this - like who was working for who," Sadaat said. The complaints commission said on Tuesday it had received over 3,000 reports of violations from last weekend's presidential election, with more expected as ballot boxes arrive from the provinces.

The leading candidates have all complained of fraud in the vote, which is meant to usher in Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power, as Karzai was barred by the constitution from seeking a third term, and has to step down after more than 12 years as head of state.

The head of the body organizing the election said it would begin publishing results from provinces on Saturday and warned the public to ignore initial tallies until the final results were published. "Those surveys have no credibility for the election commission," said Independent Election Commission chief, Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid