Afghan prosecutor orders criminal probe into vote

Afghanistan`s attorney general said he had opened a new criminal investigation into vote fraud and criticised the electoral commission for releasing final results "prematurely".

Kabul: Afghanistan`s attorney general said
he had opened a new criminal investigation into vote fraud and
criticised the electoral commission for releasing final
results "prematurely".

Mohammad Ishaq Alko, the country`s top prosecutor, told a
local radio station, in comments broadcast today, that he had
evidence that election workers were involved in fraud during
the September 18 parliamentary vote.
Eight suspects had been detained, he said, without giving
details.

"We have evidence that people`s votes were traded in
Kabul and Dubai," Alko told Radio Azadi, a Kabul-based news
station also known as Radio Free Europe.

Alko accused the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of
"prematurely" releasing final results on Wednesday. The top
prosecutor also criticised the UN mission in Kabul for
endorsing the results.

The IEC yesterday released final results from the
controversial election, except for the troubled province of
Ghazni, where Afghanistan`s largest ethnic group, the
Pashtuns, failed to win a single seat.
Analysts say President Hamid Karzai`s support in the new
parliament appears to have weakened and his main opponent,
Abdullah Abdullah, claims that his loyalists won more than 90
seats in the 249-member chamber.

Investigations into massive fraud have already cancelled
a quarter of the 5.6 million votes cast, following more than
5,000 complaints of fraud, and disqualified 24 people declared
to have won under preliminary results.

PTI

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