Kabul: About 200,000 votes have been thrown out of the tally of Afghan election results because of fraud, an election official said Tuesday.
Widespread allegations of ballot-box stuffing and suspicious tallies are threatening the legitimacy of Afghanistan's August 20 vote as the country awaits final results. More than 650 major fraud charges have been lodged with a complaints commission.
The Independent Electoral Commission previously said that results from 447 polling stations were thrown out, and an official said that amounts to about 200,000 ballots.
"The numbers were suspicious and the results did not match with the reconciliation form" used to double-check results, said Daoud Ali Najafi, the commission's chief electoral officer.
"In some areas the turnout was higher than the number of ballots we sent to the polling station," Najafi added. He said the ballots have been sent to the UN-backed fraud
investigation commission, which will decide if any can eventually be included in the official count.
With results from 74 per cent of polling stations released so far, Karzai has 48.6 per cent, while top challenger Abdullah Abdullah has 31.7 per cent. Karzai needs more than 50 per cent to avoid a runoff election.
First Published: Tuesday, September 08, 2009, 14:55