Facing the prospect of several more weeks of counting the dubious results of August’s presidential election, Afghan tribal elders met today in the city of Kabul to demand that President Hamid Karzai resign so that an interim government could be installed to hold clean elections.
Karzai’s presumptive landslide victory comes amid thousands of reports of widespread voter fraud and intimidation by Karzai loyalists. His chief opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, has ruled out joining any sort of unity government, though he did urge a “calm” reaction to the results.
On the day of the election reports were already emerging that extra voting cards could be bought on the open market for as little as $8, and that the “indelible” ink provided turned out to be easily washed off. That was nothing compared to what was to come.
The election commission reported last week that they now had around 700 complaints which were considered “category A,” meaning any one of them is large enough to have swayed the outcome. Media reports also suggest that thousands of the claimed voters in some districts may not have showed up at all.