Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Opposition challenger Abdullah alleges widespread vote fraud

©

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-24

Abdullah Abdullah, a leading challenger for the Afghan presidency, has alleged widespread vote-rigging as authorities said on Sunday they were probing 225 claims of abuses in the August 20 presidential and provincial council elections.

AFP - A leading contender for the Afghan presidency who says he is ahead in the count after last week's election alleged widespread rigging as authorities said Sunday they were probing 225 claims of abuses.
   
Western allies hailed the elections as a successful vote for democracy, but a litany of flaws and evidence that the vote was not totally free have mounted since Thursday's poll and fuelled speculation about a possible run-off.
   
"There are widespread irregularities, fraud and efforts for rigging," said ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, President Hamid Karzai's closest challenger and who, like the incumbent, claims to be leading the vote.
   
He said his team received "constant reports" that turnout, which observers say was the lowest for an election since the 2001 US-led invasion, was in some areas inflated by four times the real figure, with all the votes for Karzai.
   
"Since this is a sign of widespread rigging, I thought the people of Afghanistan deserve to know what is going on and the international community deserves to know about our concerns," he said.


Abdullah ran an energetic campaign and his claims of success, coupled with reports of a miserable turnout in Karzai's southern powerbase, have boosted speculation about a run-off, which would take place in early October.
   
To avoid a second round, one candidate would need to win an outright majority of 50 percent plus one vote. With definitive results not due until next month, Afghan and Western officials are calling for calm.
   
Abdullah's powerbase in the north means he has the widespread support of Tajiks, whereas Karzai's strong influence in the Pashtun-dominated south means the two largest ethnic groups in Afghanistan are potentially divided.
   
Abdullah said the allegations of rigging had been directed to Afghanistan's independent Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) for investigation.
   
"As of close of business yesterday, the ECC had received approximately 225 complaints. And these are complaints on and since election day," ECC chairman Grant Kippen told reporters earlier.
   
The charges include tampering with ballot boxes, intimidation of voters, violence, failures of supposedly indelible ink meant to prevent people from voting twice and interference in polling, he said.
   
"Thirty-five have been assigned a high priority and these are ones that we had to deem to be material to the outcome of the election results," he said.
   
The election authority is expected to release turnout numbers this week but observers have reported low figures, including just 10 percent in some areas.
   
Insurgents from the Taliban, which was in government between 1996 and 2001 and is strong in the south, threatened to attack polling stations to disrupt the vote.
   
There were a series of rocket and bomb assaults on election day, but no catastrophic large-scale attacks.
   
"We are aware of significant complaints of voting irregularities in provinces that were affected by violence on polling day," Kippen said, adding that these included the southern province of Kandahar.
   
Although the election was hailed a success in foreign capitals which have pumped billions into Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion and deployed 100,000 troops to contain a Taliban insurgency, concerns have mounted.
   
"Free was not the case in some parts of the territory due to terror installed," said the head of the EU observation mission, Philippe Morillon.
   
The Free and Fair Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) mentioned cases of intimidation, multiple and under-age voting, fraud, ballot stuffing, partial election commission staff and militants cutting off the fingers of two voters.
 

Date created : 2009-08-24

Comments

COMMENT(S)