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Afghan Challenger Alleges Election Fraud

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Uploaded on Aug 24, 2009

Lets look now at Afghanistan, where the people ignored threats by the Taliban and voted in Thursdays presidential elections. Now the main challenger for the presidency is alleging widespread fraud.
On Thursday these Afghans defied threats of violence by the Taliban to vote in presidential elections.

Three days on and no winner has been announced. A final result is not expected for several weeks.

Pre-election opinion polls suggest incumbent President Hamid Karzai is leading the field of candidates, but might face a run-off with his main rival Abdullah Abdullah.

Both men claim victory.

But Abdullah says he has evidence voting was widely rigged in favor of Karzai.

[Abdullah Abdullah, Presidential Candidate]:
"As far as the commission officials throughout the country isconcerned, there have been widespread reports of biased attitude, corruption and so on and so forth which is another part of the problem. But my focus today is on the big fraud. Big fraud which can have an impact on the outcome of the elections. This has to be prevented, that is critical for the survival of the process, that is critical as far as the hope of the people ofAfghanistan for a better life in the future is concerned."

Election observers say there was intimidation and irregularities but overall the poll was a success.

Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan, says Karzai and Abdullah have both promised to respect the result.

[Richard Holbrooke, US Envoy to Afghanistan]:
"In the end, the official count is what determines it in a free election. So the United States' position and that of all our NATO allies, all the many nations that are here to help Afghanistan is unanimous. We all will respect the decision of the Independent Election Commission."

No matter what the outcome of the election, war with the Taliban still rages and it will be a long time before these Afghans see peace and security in their country.

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