News / Asia

Observers want Investigation of Afghan Election

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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid