U.N. Invalidates Thousands of Karzai Ballots « The Washington Independent
Somewhere, Peter Galbraith is rolling his eyes. Suspected over the weekend, but made official now: the Afghan election commission, which is backed by the United Nations, has thrown out thousands of ballots due to fraud complaints.
After nearly two months of investigations, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) – controlled by a majority of non-Afghans – found Karzai’s total had fallen to 48.3%, according to an independent analysis. He needed 50% to clinch another term in office.
Karzai is not yet under constitutional obligation for a second round of voting. That will come only after a different election commission orders one. But Karzai was complicit in massive election fraud under the watchful eye of the international community. The fraud upended Afghanistan policymaking in the U.S. and severely undermined international confidence in his government. Will Karzai walk back from the brink by accepting a potential runoff? And even if he does, what will the international community’s stance be toward a thwarted election thief?