Friday, September 4, 2009


Posted by Caledonian Jim in Daily Posts

In Kabul, Afghanistan hundreds of angry tribal elders and local officials from the south of the country gathered yesterday to protest against what they described as “massive electoral fraud” that has allededly robbed entire districts of their votes and allocated them to the incumbent president, Hamid Karzai. In a string of damning testimonies, community leaders told of how villages that had been too terrified to vote because of Taliban threats, of mysteriously produced full ballot boxes, and with most of the votes cast for Mr Karzai, often by his own men or tribal leaders loyal to him. As an example, a tribal elder from Kandahar province, whose governor is Mr Karzai’s brother, asked : “How is it that in a district which a governor can only visit once every 2 years, where it’s too dangerous for the police to go, where even NATO can’t fly, how come there were 20,000 votes collected?” The meeting was chaired by Abdullah Abdullah (pictured above), the main rival to Mr Karzai in the June elections, which an increasing number of Western observers and local officials say have been fatally compromised by evidence of systematic voter fraud. And no doubt if Mr Abdullah was in charge instead of Mr Karzai the same dreary story would be being told in reverse. Is this disgraceful mess, affront to decency and parody of democracy really what 210 of our brave soldiers have so far died for ? Let’s pull them out – NOW.