Britain's foreign secretary say he has serious concerns about election
fraud allegations swirling after last month's Afghan presidential vote
and David Miliband says a thorough investigation is required.
Even before the Afghan election,
the war there was unpopular back in Britain. Now with widespread
allegations of vote-rigging, the British government is having to
justify why British service personnel are dying for what appears to be
a far from democratic election.
Interviewed on the BBC, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he could not describe the vote as "free and fair."
will not be party to any whitewash when it comes to the elections," he
said. "That is why the United Nations established the Electoral
Complaints Commission. It is why they dismissed the results from 83
polling stations so of course we have concerns about very serious
allegations of fraud."
Despite the nature of the election,
staged under a violent backdrop, Miliband said he felt it was still
possible to have a final result that the people of Afghanistan can have
"For me to pretend the people were not
frightened, significant numbers of people did not come out to vote
because they were frightened but equally, millions did vote. And we
need to make sure that they courage they showed, the courage that our
forces have shown is actually matched by determination to get the real
result," he said.
Incumbent leader Hamid Karzai currently
holds some 54 percent of the vote count. But if turns out that vote
fraud was a significant factor in the election, then the percentages
David Miliband sees two possible scenarios when the last votes are tabulated.
President Karzai won, then he should be the president," he said. "There
is then big responsibilities on him to reach out right across the
Afghan political spectrum. But obviously if he did not get the 50
percent in the first round then there has to be a second round."
Secretary Miliband says for Britain, the new government in Kabul must
be credible and it must have a clear view of Afghanistan's future
regarding its security, its ability to achieve political reconciliation
and its ability to build its economy.