Afghanistan election results due tomorrow

Afghanistan is to announce Wednesday final results of a September parliamentary election after fraud investigations threw out nearly a quarter of votes and disqualified many early winners.

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010, 21:11 PM IST

Kabul: Afghanistan is to announce
Wednesday final results of a September parliamentary election after fraud investigations threw out nearly a quarter of votes and disqualified many early winners.

Afghans voted September 18 in their second
post-Taliban parliamentary poll but certified results have
taken more than two months to compile owing to inquiries into
widespread fraud.

"Tomorrow, Wednesday we`ll announce the final
results," Noor Ahmad Noor, a spokesman for the Independent
Election Commission (IEC) told AFP.

The announcement is expected at 10:30 am (0600 GMT).
Election authorities have already invalidated about
1.3 million of the 5.6 million votes cast and disqualified 19
candidates, among them a cousin of President Hamid Karzai, who
were declared winners in preliminary results.

The candidates were disqualified after the Electoral
Complaints Commission (ECC) investigated widespread claims of
irregularities that tarnished the poll for the 249 seats in
the lower house of parliament.

Western allies had hoped the September election would
be conducted in a more ordered manner after massive fraud
tarnished the 2009 presidential vote and cast a long pall over
Karzai`s return to power.

An election official who spoke under condition of
anonymity said some of those candidates stripped of victory
were allies of Karzai and including a first cousin of the
president.

The ECC received more than 5,000 complaints of fraud
in the wake of the poll. Of those, 2,500 complaints were
classed as "serious".
Further controversy over the election was caused by
the preliminary results, which showed that Pashtuns,
Afghanistan`s largest ethnic group and the war-torn country`s
traditional rulers, lost their majority in Parliament.

Pashtun leaders say the nine-year Taliban insurgency,
centred largely in the Pashtun-dominated south and east,
prevented them from voting.
As an example, Hazaras won all 11 seats in Ghazni, an
important but restive Pashtun-majority southern province,
despite being only its third biggest ethnic group.

PTI