ECHOES OF IRAN August 24, 2009Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA.
The main contender to Kaizai is claiming widespread voter fraud in the Afghanistan election.
The BBC reports:
Mr Abdullah said his team had been told that voter turnout had been significantly inflated in some areas where few votes were cast, with the extra ballots marked in favour of Mr Karzai.
“The initial reports we are receiving are alarming,” Mr Abdullah was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Was Afghanistan’s election fair?
“There might have been thousands of violations throughout the country, no doubt about it.”
Meanwhile, the ECC said it had received more than 200 complaints about the electoral process.
The purpose of the election is to legitimize the American occupation of Afghanistan, which was always going to fail. The report suggest just how bad the results really were:
The credibility of the vote may be brought into question by reports that turnout in some areas, such as the restive Helmand province, was as low as 5%, analysts say.
I suspect the result will be the same as in Iran. There will be a government elected but it will lack legitimacy and slowly implode, or retreat to the safety of the barricades of Kabul. Given the precedent the people of Herat, for instance, will not be surprised.
At Mother Jones, Thomas Barfield suggests there will be a run off and that Abdullah is a better option than Kaizai on the basis of administrative competence.
Carlotta Gall for The New York Times, via Political Animal, reports that the Finance Minister is claiming that Hamid Karzai has been returned with 68% of the vote. Appears to be a convincing result.
UPDATE: 29 August 2009
Juan Cole observes the parallel with the Iranian election is getting stronger and that the process is undermining the American position in Afghanistan to the point where the Imperial Commissioner, Holbrooke, has to call rank over Karzai in the Presidential Office.