EU observers raise alarm over Afghan poll fraud

European Union observers on Thursday called for an anti-fraud audit into Afghanistan’s election to be hugely expanded, describing data from many polling stations as ‘very worrying’. The June 14 election has been mired in allegations of cheating, and the preliminary results have been delayed as the most suspicious ballot boxes are checked by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power has been in turmoil since presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would reject the result and dismissed the IEC as illegitimate. Abdullah, once a front-runner in the race, alleges he was the victim of ‘industrial-scale’ fraud, with many more votes than voters registered in some areas.

Abdullah’s poll rival Ashraf Ghani has said he won fairly by more than one million votes and accuses Abdullah of refusing to accept defeat - raising the prospect of a tense stalemate as US-led troops withdraw from Afghanistan. ‘I have serious concerns about a significant number of polling stations,’ EU chief election observer Thijs Berman said. ‘I have no conclusions on possible fraud because this you can only do when you have done an in-depth audit, but the indications are very worrying.’
Next Story
Share it