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Election Audit Said to Show Karzai Has 48 Percent

19 ottobre 2009

BREAKING NEWS… prime indiscrezioni sui voti invalidati a Karzai.



KABUL, Afghanistan — A special audit committee submitted its election fraud findings after a lengthy investigation Monday, and a Western official familiar with them said they appeared likely to show that President Hamid Karzai had won about 48 percent. The finding could force a runoff vote with Mr. Karzai’s top challenger, but it was unclear whether Mr. Karzai would accept the findings.

The auditors did not immediately publicize their conclusions, which they handed to the independent election committee that will announce the final results. The report caps more than nine weeks of waiting and may bestow a greater legitimacy on the government that eventually emerges, something the United States has strongly urged.

Mr. Karzai’s campaign officials have complained about the work of the five-member panel, saying that foreigners were unfairly influencing its outcome. And Mr. Karzai himself indicated this weekend that he might oppose the results, setting off a flurry of last-minute diplomacy by western officials.

If he is shown to have won less than 50 percent of the vote, a widely anticipated conclusion, Mr. Karzai has few legal options. A runoff is constitutionally mandated to take place within two weeks. But Mr. Karzai could use his influence over the Independent Election Commission, the Afghan body that will certify Monday’s results, to reject the findings.

That would pitch Afghanistan into a constitutional crisis just as the Obama administration is trying to make a decision on whether to send more troops here to halt the Taliban’s advance in the country’s deepening war.

A spokeswoman for the American Embassy in Kabul, Caitlin Hayden, said Senator John Kerry, was stopping in Kabul on Monday night his way back from a trip to Pakistan, “to continue his consultations and discussions.” Mr. Kerry spent three days in Kabul over the weekend, attempting to defuse a deepening political crisis.

“We call on the IEC to implement these orders with all due speed and look forward to the final certified results,” she said in an email.

One Western official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Karzai seemed to be accepting the result, and that he had given up his weekend attempts to question it.

“I understand that that issue is now over and we are in a much better place than we were even last night,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

A western diplomat put it more bluntly: “Enough is enough.”

He added that foreign officials were treating the issue gently late last week, but “in the last 72 hours, I think even Karzai got the message.”

It is unclear if the two candidates would actually go through with a runoff. Weather and increasing insecurity in the south of the country would make holding a second round difficult, and many foreign officials have suggested that the two candidates might strike a power sharing deal, something both the candidates have denied.

“I still believe in terms of where we are politically that’s its unlikely to be a second round,” the Western official said.

The committee that did the audit divided the suspect ballots into six categories, and the levels of fraud in each category ranged from as low as 71 percent to 96 percent. The results consisted of complicated mathematical formulas, without a final tally of what the end result would be.

Demonstrations in support of Mr. Karzai took place in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan and in Ghazni province in the center of the country on Monday. About 3,000 people gathered in a market in the district of Spin Boldak, shouting, “We don’t want foreigners to interfere in our election,” a complaint frequently offered by his campaign.

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