More than 200 Afghan election officials implicated in Afghanistan’s tainted presidential election will be replaced before the runoff election in less than three weeks, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour
The U.N.-backed commission charged with investigating fraud in Afghanistan’s recent presidential election Monday invalidated ballots from more than 200 polling stations.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai maintains a substantial lead in the country’s August presidential polls, according to partial results issued by election officials on Saturday. Out of 5,545,149 valid votes from 92.82 percent of the country’s polling stations, Karzai has 3,009,559 and his closest challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, the nation’s former foreign minister, has 1,558,591, the Independent Election Commission said.
Afghan presidential election results from five polling stations were declared invalid by the Electoral Complaints Commission on Thursday because of fraud. The polling stations are in Paktika province, where incumbent President Hamid Karzai has considerable support.
Afghanistan’s Electoral Complaints Commission on Tuesday ordered a partial recount of the ballots in the August 20 presidential election. The complaints commission called on Afghanistan’s Independent Elections Commission (IEC) to conduct the audit and recount because of “clear and convincing evidence of fraud in a number of polling stations.” Most of that fraud evidence is an “exceptionally high number” of votes cast in a polling station “in relation to the number of ballots available” or an extremely high number of votes cast for only one candidate, according to the ECC.
Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission said Sunday it was tossing ballots from 447 polling stations in figuring results of the August presidential election. The number of votes thrown out was not immediately known, but it could be as many as tens of thousands.