For the first time since the vote, Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted today that there was “vast fraud” in the August election which gave him a second term as president. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the fraudulent votes were cast on his behalf, however, Karzai maintains innocence.
Instead he claims there is a UN conspiracy behind the fraud that was intent on denying him reelection. The claim is perplexing since then-UN official Kai Eide was reported to have tried to cover up the extent of the fraud.
The allegation comes as Karzai is locked in a battle with the Afghan parliament over his attempts to seize unilateral control over the UN electoral watchdog, a move which is poised to lead the international community to deny funding for the parliamentary election later this summer.
It also comes as the international community looks increasingly exasperated over the systematic fraud in the Karzai government. Despite having apparently given up on efforts to oust Karzai’s brother from power, the US maintains it will pursue top Afghan officials whenever there is evidence of a role in the drug trade.