News / Asia

Observers want Investigation of Afghan Election

TEXT SIZE - +
Ira Mellman

Just a few days after Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, there is a call for an independent investigation into just what went wrong.  

A report issued Monday by the independent Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said the 7,000 election observers sent to polling places around the country found various forms of voting fraud.

"Frauds did happen in different forms,” said Nader Nadery, a spokesman for the foundation, who added

“We have seen ballot stuffing, proxy votes, underage voting and also multiple voting. The most serious one is the ballot stuffing, out observers have observed in around 280 centers in 28 provinces where the ballot stuffing did occur."

Reports from polling places say anti-fraud measures weren’t working or were being ignored.

One such measure was to have voters dip their fingers into ink that wouldn’t wash off for 72 hours, thereby curtailing ballot box stuffing. That ink reportedly was easily washed off. Other reports said poll workers were permitting people to with obviously fake voter cards to cast their ballots.

"Like any other election anywhere in the world there are complaints, there have been irregularities, but we are waiting for the respective organizations to investigate these complaints and they should be the source of information to the Afghan people about the existence of irregularities or frauds," said Afghan presidential spokesman Waheed Omar.

Fraud and corruption have been a long standing problem in Afghanistan. Before the election was held, Richard Holbrooke, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Obama administration, said: “In Afghanistan the problems have been much greater than elsewhere because of the history of the last 30 years.  And because of the huge amount of international contracts, particularly American military contracts which provide such a lucrative opportunity for this kind of thing, and also because of the drug and narcotics trade.”

Holbrooke said: “Our goal in Afghanistan is not to eliminate corruption because that’s not possible. It’s to help the Afghan’s create a government which is responsive to the needs of the people and which the people regard as its friend.”

The Afghan election commission has not yet provided an overall turnout figure, but it appears as though threats of violence along with other issues may have lead to a smaller number of voters than in last year’s election.  Nearly 6 million ballots were cast last year, although widespread ballot box stuffing makes it impossible to tell how many people actually did vote.

According to the findings of a recent poll taken by the Kabul based Integrity Watch Afghanistan, corruption remains the third-biggest concern to Afghans, following security and unemployment.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid