The main electoral body in Afghanistan released today what it says are the final results of September's parliamentary election, but results for an entire province were withheld because rampant violence, intimidation, and voter fraud made a fair tally impossible. As the results were announced, angry supporters of disqualified candidates staged protests, the Los Angeles Times reports. Adding to the confusion: The country's attorney general ordered two senior election officials suspended and investigated on possible criminal charges.
Critics fear the attorney general's investigation is an attempt to get allies of President Hamid Karzai re-elected, the Wall Street Journal notes. The results of the Sept. 18 vote are about a month overdue; the election did not, as had been hoped, show much improvement from last year's controversy-plagued presidential election. On the positive front, the Independent Election Commission has shown an independent streak that differs from last year, when it was accused of being too loyal to Karzai, experts say.