Monday, September 20, 2010

'Serious concern' over fraud at Afghan elections

The main group observing the voting says it has serious concerns about the legitimacy of this weekend's parliamentary elections, but Afghanistan's leader thinks otherwise.

President Hamid Karzai is calling balloting a solid success. But the independent Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan says it has "serious concerns about the quality of elections," given the insecurity and numerous complaints of fraud.

There were complaints that indelible ink to stain voters' fingers for 72 hours could be washed off. In some polling stations, observers said poll workers were letting people vote with obviously fake voter cards.

The Afghan election commission says at least 21 civilians and nine police officers were killed, and there were dozens of bombings and rocket attacks.

The first vote counts are due to be made public in a few days, with full preliminary results expected in early October.