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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid