The evidence of voter intimidation and ballot stuffing in last week’s Afghan vote has grown to almost ridiculous proportions, dwarfing even the embarrassing fraud in last year’s presidential vote.
In fact the evidence now points to fraud that could be large enough to alter the results in roughly a third of the provinces in Afghanistan. Given that one in five polling locations never even opened on Saturday, ostensibly for security concerns, the level of fraud is staggering.
And the efforts to curb the violence, once lauded as successful, turned out to be a complete falsehood, as the data eventually released by NATO conceded that there was actually considerable more violence than in last year’s vote.
Which brings the questions of the election’s legitimacy, and by extension the legitimacy of the government. A number of lawmakers and candidates have directly accused President Hamid Karzai and his half-brother Wali or roles in the rigging of the vote for their favorite candidates, and as the counting gets under way in earnest complaints are expected to grow.
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