News / Asia

Afghan Opposition Complains of Fraud in Recent Parliamentary Elections

Multimedia

Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission says it has received thousands of formal complaints of fraud about recent parliamentary elections. But prominent Afghan watchers in Washington say signs of progress in Afghanistan are tied more to security and quality of life than western style legitimacy in elections.

More than four million Afghans braved violence and Taliban threats to elect a new parliament.

But with final results not expected until the end of October, President Hamid Karzai is not claiming success. Some even see a level of failure.

Sayeed Morad Sharif is the chairman of the Electoral Complaints Commission:

"We have received 2,500 formal and written complaints," said Sayeed Morad Sharif. "So far we've looked at 570 complaints and are taking action about all these complaints, God willing."

Opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah says the vote count is plagued by massive fraud and urges President Karzai's government to prevent further irregularities and fraud.

"I still leave room that still it is possible to correct what has happened and to address what has happened and to prevent what might happen in the future," said Abdullah Abdullah. "So the minimum trust of the people could be restored in the process."

But after three decades of war, what constitutes progress? Afghans do not expect western style legitimacy in their elections, says Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"Legitimacy in Afghanistan, as poll after poll shows, is based on whether Afghans get security and better conditions of life and a government they feel they can trust to provide services," said Anthony Cordesman.

The election is being closely watched in Washington ahead of a  planned strategy review in December, which will likely examine the pace of U.S. troop withdrawals expected to begin in 2011.

Cordesman says the election results are not going to impact the December review for which General David Petraeus has laid out several benchmarks.

They include the elimination of Taliban sanctuaries outside the city of Kandahar, an increase in the number of Taliban fighters brought into a government reintegration scheme, and improvement in the capabilities of Afghan security forces.

"If we start setting benchmarks based on our political desires rather than the reality, the conditions on the ground, we almost ensure the Taliban win because they have a strategy of political attrition," he said. "They don't win by fighting us, they win by out waiting us."

Peter Bergen at the New America Foundation is a longtime Afghan watcher. He notes that both General Petraeus and the White House have started downplaying the December strategy review.

"I think they don't want to make it a huge moment to really look at everything, because I think that they want to kind of continue with what they have without anybody saying that it is not working," said Peter Bergen.

Analysts say there is too much political pressure on the U.S. Army to produce rapid  progress in Afghanistan. That, they say, is not realistic and will only guarantee defeat at a time when patience is needed.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid