Monday, August 31, 2009
Allegations of election fraud in Afghanistan soared Monday ahead of the fourth tranche of results from presidential polls in which incumbent Hamid Karzai is apparently cruising towards victory.
Officials were expected to announce results from around half of polling stations later Monday following the second direct presidential vote in the country, which was overshadowed by an escalating Taliban insurgency and abysmal turnout.
Complaints of fraud are flooding in daily to Afghanistan’s Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), which is scrambling to investigate more than 2,500 allegations that fraud compromised the August 20 elections.
“We have received 691 complaints which are priority A,” said EEC spokesman Ahmad Muslim Khuram, adding that 2,097 complaints had been received since election day, with the total since campaigning began in mid-June at 2,564.
The flood of complaints has heightened concerns that the legitimacy of the final results and any Karzai victory will be compromised.