Afghan President Hamid Karzai has delayed the seating of the new Afghan parliament another month, to February 22, to allow one of the tribunals investigating the massive fraud in the vote more time to detail just how widespread it was.
The move leaves Afghanistan without a parliament some five months after the September vote, and consequently with no checks on President Karzai’s power. This has led many of the would-be MPs to complain the move is about keeping Karzai dominant more than uncovering the corruption.
Both cases are difficult to make in this situation, as there is seemingly no question that the election was beset by fraud on an unprecedented scale, and that the “winners” had as broad a number of phony votes cast for them as those who were banned did.
With seemingly little appetite for a new vote, and even less appetite for ensuring that such a vote would be less ridiculously crooked, Afghanistan seems to be faced with either endless probes keeping Karzai ruling unchecked or the seating of a crooked parliament with no mandate struggling to check a crooked president whose own mandate is very much in doubt.