In a move that seems to virtually ensure the victory of incumbent President Hamid Karzai, the UN-backed Election Complaints Commission (ECC) has published its new rules for handling the massive voter fraud in August’s election.
Under the rules, the ECC will invalidate ballots in suspicious boxes in proportion to the number cast for a candidate, regardless of who was responsible for the fraud. In short, if a Karzai supporter added 1,000 votes to a ballot box which split evenly with opponent Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai’s opponent would lose the same number of votes as Karzai did. Though fraud was disproportionately in Karzai-heavy districts it will likely still make it impossible for Karzai to lose enough votes to force a run-off.
This is bound to add further to accusations of a pro-Karzai bias by the UN mission. The second in command at the mission, fired last week for complaining about fraud, says he was ordered to cover up the extent of fraud on Karzai’s behalf.
The UN reportedly had evidence that one in three Karzai votes was fraudulent, though former ambassador Galbraith was ordered to keep this secret. The man doing the ordering, Kai Eide, reportedly told Karzai that he supported his re-election campaign.