Despite claims as recently as last night that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was very much looking forward to this weekend’s runoff election, in which he would run unopposed since his opponent formally withdrew from the votes and wouldn’t appear on the ballot, it looks like it won’t happen.
Citing international pressure, particularly from the US, the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the Karzai-appointed election body which oversaw the first round of votes, cancelled the runoff and declared Karzai the winner.
The US had reportedly expressed concern that not only would the second round of voting be expensive and dangerous, but that it might be marred with just as much fraud as the first round was.
This seems incredible, however, as Karzai got over a million fraudulent votes in the first round and with his name the only one on the ballot there appears to be little need for him to repeat the wholesale manufacture of votes.
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