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Afghanistan- "Go tell the world about our fake election"

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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:30 PM
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Afghanistan- "Go tell the world about our fake election"
So it finally happened. The election that we've been waiting for and looking forward to at least since last winter took place today all over the country. I'll refrain from writing anything about the rest of the country. There are plenty of places to get a good sense of what happened. Make sure to check out and the various people who've been tweeting news all day from the ground around the country. I'll just be talking about the things in Kandahar that I saw and was able to confirm from here on the ground.


There are several things to note from these numbers. Firstly, turnout was EXTREMELY low. Zahir Shahi High School and Ahmad Shah Baba High School are arguably the two biggest voting stations in Kandahar City, where in previous elections large numbers of people were seen. Neither location saw more than 2000 voters by the end of the day. Obviously, there is a possibility that some of these locations saw lots more voters after we left, but it is highly implausible, and in fact we were present at Ahmad Shah Baba high school at the 4pm cutoff time and there was no last-minute surge.


The Afghan friends I was travelling around with that day called one of the voting stations for which I gave numbers above (Shkarpur Darwaza) ahead of our arrival. "Don't come! Don't come!" our friends were requested. "We're about to start stuffing the ballot boxes and we don't need foreigners here messing up our work." That was one of the election officials of the station talking on the phone. Needless to say, we went there and took note of how many voters they had on their lists.

Spin Boldak is an interesting case, although, since I didn't manage to get down there myself and I haven't yet heard from people who did, I suspect we'll never get to the bottom of what happened there. In the months prior to the election, I heard numerous accounts of how General Razziq's men -- Razziq is a local border police commander, well-respected in southern Afghanistan -- were preventing any non-Karzai supporters from campaigning in town. "If anyone puts up pictures of the opposition presidential candidates, like we did a few days ago with 1000 pictures of Ashraf Ghani, they're all gone and taken down by the next day," one campaigners told me.

So not really a free and fair environment. As the election day progressed, I started hearing reports that Razziq was influencing the voting. At 4pm when voting stopped, I received several credible reports that Razziq had sent his men round to every polling station in Spin Boldak and collected all the ballot boxes. He then reportedly took them to his house - 'to keep them safe and secure' - and prevented election observers from entering. The boxes were stuffed overnight, many claimed.


Much more here:
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:33 PM
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1. No sign of voters on election day in Afghanistan despite official claims

Tom Coghlan in Pul-e-Charki, Kabul

At 8am, an hour after the Afghanistans presidential polls opened, the polling station at the Haji Janat Gul High School, a dusty collection half-finished buildings designated for use by Kuchi nomads, was entirely empty of voters.

But the apparent lack of voter activity was deceptive, insisted election officials; the ballot boxes were already full almost to the brim. The people have already come. They came here with lorries at 7 oclock, now they have gone to the fields with their sheep said Lawan Geen proudly.

The grey bearded election worker from the Independent Election Commission seemed rather less than happy at the unannounced arrival of two Times journalists at his polling centre just outside Kabul.

The absence of voters witnessed by The Times yesterday in this centre on the edge of the capital was replicated across the country, with fearful Afghans staying away from the polls after repeated threats from the Taleban.

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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:42 PM
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2. Let's first go tell AMERICA about OUR STOLEN elections.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:07 PM
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3. EU observers cry foul over Afghan elections
22/08 19:03 CET

EU monitors say the poll was generally fair but not free a verdict backed by presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah.

The former foreign minister believes government officials interfered at some polling stations.

Some of the ballot boxes have to be quarantined because in some areas we have already registered our complaints with the Complaints Commission, said Abdullah.

President Hamid Karzai is expected to win the first round, but it is too close to say whether the president will earn an outright majority or would have to face Abdullah in a runoff.

Either way, EU election officials say they are concerned about fraud and voter intimidation allegations.

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