Afghanistan Delays Inauguration as Vote Audit Remains Unresolved

Karzai Aims to Set Sept. 2 Deadline, But Will Results Be In?

The summer Afghan presidential election followed the usual formula for the country: massive fraud. After several months of vote audits and recounts, the vote still isn’t settled.

Officially, Afghan officials conceded the August 25 inauguration date, now missed, was never written in stone. Yet President Karzai insists he’s going to be out by September 2, and it doesn’t seem like the results will be any more finalized by then.

Frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah has offered considerable evidence of ballot stuffing by election officials on behalf of his rival, Ashraf Ghani, who shocked many when he won the preliminary count.

Since then, the two candidates’ teams have been fighting over which fraudulent ballots should and shouldn’t be counted, with the results of the election hinging less on voter sentiment than on who manages to get the audit to turn out their way.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of